The issue of parking seems to pop back up at the beginning of every semester. Parking on campus, whether as a commuter, a resident or even as a faculty member, is inconvenient and frustrating. There seem to just not be enough spots on campus where one can legally park. Either all the spots in a certain lot are occupied or you do not have the right kind of parking pass to park in the lot you want. This leads to frustration, being late to class and sometimes missing class altogether.
For readers who have been at SRU for a few years, this is nothing new. Each semester we are reminded how convoluted and difficult it is to find parking spots on campus and how frustrating it can be when you have to drive around the same parking lot several times looking for that ever elusive open parking spot. For first-year commuter students or freshmen in general the problems with parking at SRU become apparent all too quickly.
And yet, for how much this issue is brought up each semester, nothing seems to ever change. The staff thinks that as each semester goes on we all eventually become used to and start to accept the parking situation and eventually stop complaining about it. However, this year seems to be different. SRU has hit a new record high in enrollment at nearly 9,000 students, without adding any significant upgrades to parking. Add on top of that the construction on Keister Road and the newly implemented detour up around Harmony Road by the football stadium, and the parking situation has reached an all-time low. This is the first year we can remember that even faculty members are having trouble getting to campus on time.
Traffic jams, legitimate stand-still traffic jams, have started happening when trying to enter or leave campus.
With Keister closed, there is only one entrance into campus that is available to the hundreds, if not thousands, of students to need to either get on campus for class or get off campus and go home. It has become hard to even walk to campus depending on where you live because of all the construction hapening on and around campus.
With Dr. Norton vacating the position of SRU’s president and a new president expected to be named before the spring semester the staff believes that this year is finally the year that the administration needs to do something to address the nightmare that is on campus parking. Think how much positive favor a new president could garner from students if one of the first things they did was improve parking, or even if Dr. Way were to address it somehow while he serves as interim president.
Some of the ideas thrown around on Twitter by students have been not allowing freshmen students to have cars on campus, not allowing commuters have cars on campus or adding more parking where available (the lot where Kraus Hall used to stand seems a likely candidate). Whatever the solution will be, something needs to be done this year, especially if SRU’s enrollment continues to grow and more and more students start bringing cars. Something has to be done before it is too late, a dealine which is fast approaching.