Commuter parking deemed unfair to students
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01
I am one of the many on-campus residents who walk everywhere on campus, including to the cafeteria, my dorm, classes and the Student Center. However, even though I do live on campus, I have come across a problem with the parking situation between on- and off-campus resident students.
Parking on campus makes no sense because of the simple fact that residents who live on campus have the opportunity to park the closest whereas off-campus students are forced to walk the longest distance to and from their parking spots, usually in the commuter lot all the way across campus, a 15 to 20 minute walking commute.
If you include the amount of time it takes for an off-campus student to leave their residence, drive to school and then park and walk from their car to their classroom, the commute ranges drastically. Their commute is ridiculous because of the fact that they have to park the farthest from the center of the campus, where the classrooms are. They are forced to park their cars on the outskirts of the campus, even though they are the ones traveling the farthest. The two floors of parking next to the library are hardly enough room, and the parking spaces next to the Rec Center are not much better, especially if that student has classes in the middle of the day.
However, for some reason, the commute for students living on campus is much shorter. And why is that? There seems to be no apparent reason. There is absolutely no point in having on-campus residents parking the closest to the center of campus when they are the ones who only have a 15 minute walk ahead of them, as opposed to the off-campus students who range from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on where they live off campus. There are students, in fact, who drive all the way from Tyler every day to come to class.
The fact that this school has multiple places to park all across campus, and yet it is such a scavenger hunt to find a good parking place for off-campus residents, makes no sense. In addition, it takes less time for an on-campus student to walk to class than it does for them to walk to their car, drive to a parking spot and walk to class.
What’s the point? Off-campus students should have more parking and should have closer parking opportunities, rather than on-campus residents who have no reason to park closer than the student who lives farther.
Courtney Schimdt is a photojournalism major and a contributing writer for The Pine Log.