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Student parking pains

September 2, 2011

Students struggle to find parking as construction cuts down on available parking spaces

With the gigantic dirt hole located in between the Huff, Admission’s office, and Bower’s Residence hall, it’s no wonder that every student’s main concern on campus is parking. The admission’s parking lot, Bower’s gravel lot, and a dozen or so faculty parking spaces have been deleted due to the construction, drastically reducing parking by roughly 144 spots.

The loss of parking has created a large dilemma for students and the rest of the community.   With less spots available, students are finding the only reasonable option is to park their cars on the street; which in turn takes curb side parking away from the citizens of Monmouth.  Jennifer Rice, a senior international business major and Bower’s Hall resident is livid about the construction taking over the Bower’s gravel parking lot.

“It makes me upset that I have to pay $90 a semester to park on the street,” Rice said. “I work at Buffalo Wild Wings in Galesburg, and sometimes don’t get home till midnight or later and I have to park 2 to 3 blocks away in the residential areas because there is nowhere else to park on campus.”

While parking on the street may seem like an ideal solution, many students don’t know that parking your cars on the street increases your chances of getting a parking ticket. While the city of Monmouth does not require a residential sticker, parking on a residential street for more than 72 hours will result in a fine from the Monmouth Police Department — a concept commonly overlooked in the school’s parking brochure. However, parking on the street may soon have bigger repercussions as city officials are looking to create stricter rules that may include no city street parking all together due to the influx of student’s parking there.

Nevertheless, the school is making attempts to diffuse the parking situation.  While the amount of cars on campus is relatively the same per class—last year approximately 20% of freshmen, 22% of sophomores, 28% of juniors, and 30% of seniors had cars on campus—the school has sectioned the lots off by grades in an attempt to give the upperclassmen the better spots.

In past years Euclid was the only designated “freshmen” parking lot (which for a freshman was easily avoided if the permit requests were turned in early enough).  This year, no matter when you submitted your parking registration all freshmen and sophomores are restricted to parking in the lots on the perimeter of campus, while juniors and seniors have the interior.  Specifically freshmen-only lots are the lots on Euclid, the new lot on 11th and the lot across the street from the McMichael Residence Hall.  The change is noted by the pink and yellow stickers on the signs and permits: Pink for juniors and seniors, yellow for sophomores and freshmen.  Parking in the wrong color lot will result in a fine no matter if you have an upperclassmen sticker or not.

However, a quick drive around campus and the average student can see the new freshmen lots are quite empty. The freshmen lots’ one to two block distance from campus is a huge turn-off to students, especially when they are used to walking from one end of campus to the other in about 5 minutes.  David Beuttel, a freshmen Communications Major living in Graham, when asked if parking was an issue on campus responded,

“Yes! The freshmen parking lot is really far away from my dorm.  Over the summer they said I’d get a permit but I didn’t know till two weeks before school started that it was going to be so far away.”

In addition, most upperclassmen haven’t been informed of the new regulations.  Marcus Bailey, a senior living in Winbigler did not even know that his favorite parking location (the lot across from McMichael Hall) was for freshmen and sophomores until his interview with The Courier,

“I didn’t know that lot was for sophomores and freshmen. I don’t think it’s fair, upperclassmen should park wherever we want!”

Tuesday’s ASMC meeting discussed alternative ways to deal with parking on campus that doesn’t rely on student’s parking in the street, or segregated parking lots.  An easy parking solution that has been tossed around for years is to take away the freshmen’s parking privileges all together.  Rhonda Wilhardt, Student Account Manager, has recently been put in charge of parking on campus. She explained that getting rid of freshmen parking is an aspect the administration has readily denied, because they believe freshmen parking to be a large recruitment tool for the school.

While most students seem to be disgruntled by the situation there are a few that don’t seem to mind. Cate Sargent, a junior living in the Kappa Kappa Gamma house across from Wallace hall remarked, “Honestly it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but most of the time I do park on the street.”

Dominic Savino a senior Chemistry major, living in the fraternity complex feels similarly,

“It’s awesome; I can finally find a spot in the parking lot now that it’s not overflowing with freshmen from Liedman.”

Parking Pointers

-Only park in your colored lot. Parking in another color lot regardless of year in school will result in a fine.
-Don’t park on a city street for more than 72 hours or you will be ticked by parking ticket from the Monmouth police.
-Any vehicles that are unregistered (including visitors) and are parked in a lot will receive a $100 fine from the college.
-All lots are open to all students and visitors from 5 p.m. Fridays to 5p.m. Sundays, except where specifically designated.
-A visitor/temporary parking pass is required if a visitor comes on a weekday.

Jennell Oddo
Online Editor

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