There have been recent talks amongst the students about the parking situation here at Southern Nazarene University. More and more students are taking parking spots all across campus each year, which simultaneously means fewer and fewer are available. Between residential parking spots being taken, the lack of places to park for commuter students, or just a struggle to find a parking space in general, parking on campus has become a popular point of discussion throughout this semester. Because of this, I have asked students across campus for both their opinions on the situation of parking and for the potential solutions they may have.
Parking spaces have been a hot topic lately, and it is clear to see why. Every day, parking spots are filled all across the campus. Residential spots get filled by commuter students, and the commuter spots are filled by on-campus residents. Sporting events leave parents and other students having to walk across campus from their cars in order to get to the game. When asking students about what they thought, their answers were surprisingly simple.
Around sixty percent of students I interviewed here at SNU thought that there should not be assigned parking spots. When asked how parking should be handled, a few students suggested that there should be more defined lots for different types of students: such as a faculty lot, commuter special lot, and lots for each residential hall. This way, students can be close to their dorms while commuters and staff do not have to walk far to get to where they need to go.
Another student suggested that this could be done with stickers specific to different lot types, which would allow students to park in established lots. Many of the students I asked believed that it may also be beneficial for another lot of parking to be added.
It is important to note that the idea of building new parking lots and reconstructing how we utilize parking here at SNU is much more easily said than done. Parking lots are obviously expensive and require space. However, an additional lot added, or existing lots expanded, would serve to add additional spots for school events: whether that be sporting events, homecoming, concerts, or graduation. More lots or expanded ones can lead to a relief of traffic around campus as well.
Overall, students are understanding of the fact that the solution to parking isn’t going to be fixed overnight. However, assigned parking based on residency or position may be the simple solution that is needed. If each person got their own individual spot, then it would be more confusing and chaotic than it needs to be. Collectively as a student body, we believe that these solutions would create a more controlled and easy-going environment where students can park safely.
Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash