Andrew Dawson, Editor-in-Chief |
It’s 9:30 a.m. and you just finished eating a quick breakfast before heading to your first class of the day. It’s a stressful week for you, midterms are right around the corner and you’re finishing a group project for your capstone course. When you arrive at campus, you go to the Alumni parking lot in hopes of an open parking space, but none are available. Then you drive up to the Hunt Union parking lot and search for an open parking space, but none are available in this parking lot either. Now you are ten minutes late to class circling both parking lots just trying to be the one lucky person who can find a spot. As you are circling both parking lots, your eyes are drawn to the number of open spaces in the faculty/staff sections of the lots. It almost seems as if the designated faculty lots are not even being used. As a commuting student, this is a problem I face every single day. The lack of parking spaces for commuting students is unacceptable and SUNY Oneonta needs to resolve this issue.
According to SUNY Oneonta’s parking map, there are over 70 different parking areas that they provide on campus. That may seem like a lot of places to park but commuting students only have access to about 12 of these sections which vary in size. Most of these parking lots fill up early in the morning, leaving commuting students that have classes later in the day frustrated and anxious while trying to find a place to park. SUNY Oneonta’s parking map also showed that faculty/staff have access to about 28 of these parking areas that vary in size as well.
To put this into perspective, there are a total of 5,918 students enrolled in SUNY Oneonta this semester. There are approximately 568 faculty and staff members working on campus according to Zippia. So, why is our college giving faculty members so many different parking options while students have to struggle to find just one available parking space?
I understand the lack of parking on college campuses is an issue for all SUNY schools, but they need to do a better job of providing students with accessible parking. Faculty members should have the most convenient options to park during the week but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be enough parking for students.
While this problem may be difficult to fix, there are some unproven solutions SUNY Oneonta should consider. One way to resolve this issue is by extending the designated commuter parking areas into part of the faculty’s lot. Most of the faculty’s parking on campus goes unused and adding additional places for students to park may resolve this issue. Another solution is by installing an app that tracks the parking lots and lets users know whether there are parking spaces available. This idea may not be feasible but it’s similar to an app SUNY Oneonta installed for residents using the laundry rooms and bus. The app shows if there are any unused washing and drying machines in their residence hall, which saves students a walk to their laundry rooms. The bus tracker allows student to locate the OPT bus and see where on campus or in the town it is.
The college could also do a better job of acknowledging this problem and taking steps in resolving it. The common consensus around commuting students on this issue is that the college does not care about the lack of parking because it doesn’t affect them. If SUNY Oneonta would listen to their students and take steps in resolving this issue, then students would be more tolerant of the situation.