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My plea to students: Park like a sir

Submitted by Geoffrey Bara on February 23, 2013 – 1:33 pmNo Comment

Parking at the university is a subject I have touched on before. Before moving on campus, I always parked at Big Lots!, and then walked through the gate behind it to campus. I found the walk tedious, of course, but parking passes are expensive and no guarantee of a space, so I figured that was the most economic choice.

Now I live on campus in North Hall, and the most desirable parking area is the gravel lot directly adjacent to us. It’s not really a parking lot per se, because there is no asphalt. The lot is not gated, is not patrolled by campus parking enforcement (so it’s a good place to have overnight guests park their cars for free without fear of ticketing) and is a significantly closer walk to the door at the rear of the building.  Which remains to open only sporadically with my ID card.

Because the lot is not official, there are no actual spaces marked out.  It’s been left to us, the students, to park in an orderly fashion so we don’t waste the space and no one gets stuck. This should be pretty manageable; the lot is large and, if cars are parked intelligently, most of the square footage could be utilized while leaving a clear and easy path in and out. It would be an understatement to say that the student body has failed parlously.

I don’t know what it is, maybe a “because I can” mentality, but the parking jobs are beginning to border on ridiculous. As I look out my window now, I can see a silvery SUV parked horizontally on what could easily be two, possibly three spaces.  Often, the entrance is reduced to just one car’s width when greedy students refuse to accept the fact that there aren’t any more spaces and just park their cars at any old alarming angle that suits them at the moment.

Some students have been protesting. I heard stories of offensive, angry notes scrawled and left jammed under windshield wipers. I myself left two identically worded notes, though the verbiage I used was as polite as it was assertive.

On two cars, I saw red car window paint that said “not a parking space” and “do not park here.”Students stopped by the cars and snapped photos, laughing. The owners of the cars found the paint scenario to be less entertaining, although frankly I don’t see why.  The paint washes off, and they did, in fact, park horrendously and got what they deserved.

I’ve heard from campus police that the lot is at some point scheduled to be paved properly, fenced in and added to the many official lots on and immediately surrounding campus. I can’t help but wonder if the recent animosity between the students had something to do with that decision.

I’ll be sad to see the lot go, but it bothers me far more that the residents find it impossible to work together and, honestly, to just not park like jerks.


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