The growing problem of parking on campus

Shelby DeHaven, ‘Doah Managing Editor
September 4, 2013

'Doah photo by Shelby DeHaven. The staff parking lot outside of Henkel Hall is one that frequently fills up quickly, much to the frustration of many of the professors with offices and classes in the building.

‘Doah photo by Shelby DeHaven.
The staff parking lot outside of Henkel Hall is one that frequently fills up quickly, much to the frustration of many of the professors with offices and classes in the building.

Those of us on campus with cars know the pain of trying to find a parking spot anywhere remotely close to our dorm or the building our class is in.

Some of the hardest places to find parking spaces are around the classroom buildings and residence halls. On main campus, there are 19 parking lots: four are blue staff permit lots, three are red student permit lots and the rest are shared.

One of the biggest parking struggles is to find a spot near the freshmen residential halls or near the University Inn. As is a debate for many schools, some people at S.U. argue that freshmen should not be allowed to have cars in order to cut down on the number of cars on campus.

Senior Krystie Ocasio did not have a car on campus her freshman or sophomore year and believes that it is doable for everyone. “Since freshman have to live on campus, when they bring cars to campus, it swarms all of the parking spots and sometimes those cars don’t leave their spots for weeks.

Taking up valuable space for the commuter students, staff and basically anyone else who lives outside of main campus. I mean, I went two years without a car and while yeah, it was annoying at times, it was doable.”

Others argue that freshmen should still be allowed to have cars on campus but they should have to park by the Brandt Student Center rather than behind the freshmen dorms. Sophomore Annie Everett believes that freshmen should have to park elsewhere because “they drive too irresponsibly.”

In addition to the parking troubles around the residence halls, there is also difficulty parking around classroom buildings and Conservatory buildings. “There’s not enough space for all of the people and buildings that people need access too,” said Ocasio.

With the construction of the new Health & Life Sciences Building taking up valuable parking spots around the prime location of Henkel Hall in the lot beside Sarah’s Glenn, it makes students wonder about what parking will be like with the added number of students and staff next year when the building is completed.

Then there is the issue with the Conservatory. On days when there are multiple events occurring at the same time in either Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre or Armstrong, parking becomes an issue. “When two or three events happen there at the same time, it quickly becomes a parking nightmare, and that kind of thing can keep some people away from attending further events/performances held by the S.U. student community,” said senior Colleen O’Brien.

The one spot on campus that seems to have enough parking is the Brandt Student Center. With a four-level parking garage and a large parking lot, it would seem as though the BSC has plenty of space. Yet even that area fills up quickly during the day. And, many students find it inconvenient, as it is on the opposite side of campus from where most of the residence halls and classrooms are.

The campus parking issue is something that is frustrating both students and staff alike. Constantly having to search for parking, only to wind up parking far away, is tiring and inconvenient.

It will be interesting to see how Shenandoah’s administration deals with the increase in parking that comes with admitting larger numbers of freshmen every year, as well as the addition of those who will be attending classes in the new Health & Life Sciences Building.

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