When it takes close to 45 minutes to find a parking spot at a small town university, you know you have problems.
When I started thinking about what I would write this week, I struggled with what the topic should be. I have covered Syria and the South Patio preacher, but the one thing I really need to do is have a go at parking issues.
I am probably one of the few who get here by 7:30 a.m. everyday just to get a parking spot. But this means I never get a day to snooze. I am up early and stuck on campus until I go to work after my afternoon classes. I am not actually saving money by bringing my lunch to school or staying on campus. I still end up leaving something at home and then I have to go buy something from overpriced Starbucks, the Grill, the Cafe, or any other place on campus.
What makes the situation even worse is that not even the faculty and staff have enough parking spaces. We have too many people on campus with so few parking spaces. I know other major campuses have similar if not worse parking issues than Tech’s but nothing has even started coming to pass to correct the situation.Let’s pile on some more guilt for the administration. The talk from “Flight Plan” is that the area between the RUC and Clement Hall is eventually going to be turned into “green space.” What good is green space when we don’t have enough parking?
No one seems to be thinking about how many books most students have to carry in backpacks on a daily basis. Think about how the load is worse when students have back to back to back tests in one day or even one week. Normally, by this time in the semester the drop ratio is to a normal point that it might take 10 to 15 minutes to find a parking space. But oh no, people are more stubborn and they don’t quit as easily as they used to. Don’t get me wrong – this is a good thing.
So with all the issues and too many students, the worst part still is getting tickets. A student who tries to get to campus early enough to find a spot before their class around midmorning is stuck having to make up a parking spot because they couldn’t find a place to park in the 30 minutes they allowed to find a space. The next thing they know, they walk out of class and guess what is tucked under their windshield wipers? A pretty little ticket that flaps in the breeze that telling you your car is parked illegally and you now owe the school $30 or more. Yes, students can go and appeal the ticket but why did they really deserve it?
The old saying “it isn’t fair” is running through my head. No, this isn’t fair.
One student was brave enough to protest by parking his truck on the sidewalk in front of the Volpe Library during the first week of classes. It sadly didn’t do a whole lot of good, but he at least had the guts to let his voice be heard.
So students, I put it to you. Are you brave enough to really start letting your voices be heard? If you are, I urge you to write in to the Oracle. Don’t sit back and think things will never change. Things will change if you start standing up for yourself.
We pay for parking tags, so let’s get our money’s worth. The same phrase that fits voting also fits this: “You don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain.”
Here is ours: “We pay for parking. We have a right to complain when we don’t have a place to park.”
Speak up, write in, post on Facebook in Tech Confessions. Do what you have to do to make your voice heard.