Campus parking battle
Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
When your clothes get dusty walking to class and construction workers greet you around every corner, you know big changes are happening on campus.
Over the summer, the university worked hard to put up new buildings. Remodeling is still in full swing with new sidewalks still underway, but the one thing that has most students hot under the collar is parking.
Granted, there is always some fuss over this situation every year.
Finding a parking spot seems to be even more difficult this fall, and it’s no wonder with a record number of 598 freshmen on campus.
Facebook seems to be taking the brunt of students’ frustrations with status updates like “Day 2 of the UMHB student parking battle. Bring it on freshmen, bring it on,” “Seriously, freshmen, walk to class and save the parking for off-campus students!” and “Wow UMHB you’re about 20 million student parking places short!”
According to the campus police department, the university has 3,495 parking spaces, 2,914 of which are located on the main campus and assigned to student parking. The number of student vehicles registered on campus is 2,473. Yes, the numbers don’t really seem to add up.
Students’ reactions to the situations may seem a little dramatic, but the statements do hold some truth. The need for expansion is a direct result of the university’s growth. With more students comes a demand for new parking lots.
This is not to say that the university is not making an effort. After all, more than 250 spaces were added over the summer in the lots by McLane Hall and Garner Hall.
Director of Campus Police Gary Sargent suggests that if you live on campus, you should walk to class or use one of the Cru bikes. He has a good point. Part of our tuition goes to those bikes, so save some gas and use them if you live on campus. This means you, freshmen.
It seems that no matter what changes are made, students are always going to find something to nitpick about. Parking issues will be here tomorrow and still probably years down the road.
The fight will continue, so get up early and fight over that spot, because it might be the only one you find all day.