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SU Parking Crisis: Remarks from students about parking on campus

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SU Parking Crisis: Remarks from students about parking on campus


With a largely growing student population, a lot of things seem to be changing around campus. There have been renovations, new buildings, and new additions.Yet, one thing that has stayed the same has been the campus’s parking.

Southwestern University is a small campus, resulting in fewer parking spaces than other universities plus no on-campus parking garages. Although this situation may seem ideal in some cases, it has actually caused frustration and troubles among the students here on campus.

“There is not enough parking on campus for students,” said Alex Bell, a junior attending Southwestern University. “There are certain places that privilege the fraternities parking over other students which seems unfair.” 

Along with Alex, many other students have complained about the amount of parking given to students, and the unclear parking rules that further restrict the spots they are allowed to park in.

“It is unfair that the staff is allowed to park in student spots but we aren’t allowed to park in staff spots,” said Olivia Gray, an SU sophomore living on campus. The campus has designated parking for designated persons on the campus; parking in spots that are not designated to you can result in a ticket and fine from the Southwestern University police department.

The spots differ for students, staff, visitors, and those living in fraternities who have their own reserved parking. There are more options for staff, as well as any members of fraternities with their own lot, taking away space from the students whose only option for parking is the general students spots. Although the organization is there, some rules actually limit the student parking on campus. 

These complex rules can result in heavy fines causing students unnecessary stress on a campus they not only attend but live at.

“We need to make sure that all incoming students are aware of the parking rules, especially because the parking tickets are unnecessarily expensive. For example, when I was a freshman no one taught me about the green lines, indicating student parking, and I had to pay $50,” said Olivia Gray.

The inconvenience plays a role in students attitudes towards campus parking, but so does the safety of the given parking lots. 

“The Herman Brown parking lot is dangerous,” said Caylee Brockman, a sophomore attending and living on campus at Southwestern University. “Because you’re not allowed to back into parking spots you have to back out of the narrow parking lot onto a mainstreet. So many accidents could be caused and on top of money to repair any damage students’ physical wellbeing is at risk.”

Numerous students living in Herman Brown and Moody Shearn have expressed concern for the given parking lot and how backing out of the parking lot directly onto a mainstreet is a safety concern.

What about disabled students and visitors? There are not many parking spots reserved for disabled drivers and passengers. Now there are even fewer of these parking spots, to account for campus renovations. Although there may be parking in one area, it is not fair to assume all students can take the extra walking from a spot far away to get to their destination. Parking should be accessible for all students regardless of ability status. 

“There may always be parking in one parking lot but what if it’s far away for someone?” asks Nicole Rajtak, a sophomore attending and living on campus at Southwestern University. 

The student concerns, involving parking at their work and living spaces, are concerns that need to be amplified and recognized.

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