Residents of North and Rhoads Hall attended the latest Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SGA) formal meeting on Feb. 24 to speak during open forum about their concerns with parking issues on campus.
Students spoke during the open forum about getting parking tickets, feeling unsafe walking from parking lots to their dorms and potential solutions to the lack of parking across campus.
The parking lots in the surrounding area of North and Rhoads Hall are the Wally Rose Field Parking Lot and the resident parking lot located across from Subway.
Mia Schembri, a student who spoke during open forum, said she was voicing her concern on behalf of the residents of North and Rhoads Hall, as she said the closest parking, otherwise, would be on the other side of the campus near the Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
“Personally, I think it’s a little ridiculous to ask the people who live in Rhoads and North Hall to not only cram into 20 spots and ask them to walk half a mile or a mile [back to their dorms],” Schembri said.
Schembri said her friend received five parking tickets in less than a week.
The next closest parking spots for students when these lots are full is the East Lake Lot located near the tennis courts and the Robert N. Abersold Student Recreation Center.
Noah Davidson, a Rhoads Hall resident, suggested that the university turns the entire Wally Rose Field into a parking lot to provide more parking for students than the 20 current parking spots available.
“I have talked to some people in ROTC who have used the field for training and stuff like that,” Davidson said, “They said they rarely use [the field] at all.”
Davidson said his friend received three $30 parking tickets on a weekend and was not notified about them until the third one.
Davidson also suggested that the university should start telling first-year students to not drive to campus in order to limit the amount of cars and free some parking spots on campus.
Students also have voiced their concerns about how there is no overnight parking from 2 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. from Nov. 1 to April 1 in the Alumni Commuter Parking Lot, Swope Commuter Lot and many more.
Shawna O’Linchy, a North Hall resident, said she has talked to many women that say they feel uncomfortable and unsafe walking back to their dorms from the Wally Rose Field Parking Lot and the resident parking lot by Subway.
“I have talked to other people who have already brought up [parking issues] one or two years ago,” O’Lincy said, “and nothing got done, so it’s still an issue.”
O’Lincy didn’t respond to request for further comment.
Melina Bowser, a resident of Building B, said that if there are more parking spots made for residents of North and Rhoads Hall, then there would be more parking for students that live near Building B and other buildings as well.
“It would fix everyone’s problems to make that abandoned baseball field a lot or to make the commuter lots have less spaces for commuters and more spots for everyone,” Bowser said.
Students also said the parking office and university police are not informed enough on where residents can and can’t park.
Autumn Carroll, a resident that spoke during open forum, said she wasn’t sure if she could park in a certain gravel spot, so she called the parking office and the university police, and neither of them knew.
Police told Carroll to follow the procedures of parking on gravel. However, they later gave her a ticket.
“Parking is a problem,” Davidson said. “And it needs to be fixed.”