Parking is always a hot button issue, but particularly here at Weber State University, where parking is divided between four different permits that span campus and the Dee Events Center, parking can cause fights.
Just a month ago, the announcement of the new athletic complex being built had students worried about their parking lot being filled with construction debris, therefore leaving less spots for cars.
The most egregious offense comes from the multitude of cars that permeate the W lots while A lots continue to have a seemingly-endless expanse of empty parking spaces. This scenario is WSU’s equivalent to the old saying, “between a rock and a hard place,” but instead is substituted for either being late for class or getting a ticket for parking in the wrong lot.
However, parking services’s answer to the parking debacle often falls into one of two categories: either park at the Dee events center and take the shuttle or arrive early to find parking.
With the student population growing more every year, that latter option is basically nonexistent. Even arriving an hour or so before class there is very little, if no, chance to find a parking spot.
Students slowly driving up and down the aisles, looking for the ever-elusive parking spot, is just proof of what is no longer a good answer to parking problems.
I’d like to think that if anything, WSU has slowly morphed me into a car stalker, as I often find myself slowly trailing behind the students who enter the W lot and seem to be leaving for the day, just for the chance to obtain their spot.
It’s perplexing to realize that seeing a student enter the W lot is just as gratifying as scratching an itch you haven’t been able to reach all day.
Having been both the driver and the student, I can say with full assurance that it is equally awkward and embarrassing, especially when the driver finds out that you weren’t leaving, only heading to your car for something.
So, with little options left, students quickly find themselves rushing to the Dee in order to make it to their class on time, only to face yet another series of obstacles.
While the idea of parking at the Dee and taking the shuttle isn’t necessarily awful, the line waiting to get on that curves around the corner and into the crosswalk is.
If I’ve learned anything from parking, it’s that coming early is never a wrong option. It only becomes a bad decision when students, who’ve parked at the Dee, assume that arriving and parking 30 minutes before class is a good idea.
The line will consistently prove you otherwise, and while the purple paws and notes about wait times are seemingly cute, they instead become the recipients of my, and hopefully others’, glares.
The wait lines are meant for reassurance; however, they provide anything but that. Assuming it’s 10:20 a.m. and you have a class at 10:30 a.m., that little sign that says “5 minute wait” is actually very wrong.
It makes sense that the shuttles don’t have the fastest rotation time, nor do they make dramatic cuts in the line, considering they are usually supposed to seat 16 students. That 16 often turns into 20 or 25, especially for those who stand in the aisle and the stairwell.
But this is where most of my anger stems, and this is where my frustrations come in the most abhorrent fashion. For me, someone who stands at the exact measurement of 60 inches, or 5 feet tall, it is a problem.
Students’ biggest worry is making it to class on time and doing so in any way possible. This means that simply riding the shuttle to get to class is not a peaceful two minutes ride to campus, but rather a silent but violent dispute where the contest is getting on the shuttle the fastest and the prize is the limited seating.
I, whether it be the universe’s or parking services’s doing, always end up having to stand in the aisle. Having to stand on my tip toes to reach the metal bar hung on the ceiling of the shuttle for the entire length of what is a noticeably bumpy ride, is not my idea of fun.
Most students I complain to often respond with, “Why don’t you ask someone for a seat? Or stay back until the next shuttle so you can sit down?”
My answer to that is simple: I am also in the fight to make it to class on time.
Students don’t think of basic manners or etiquette when it comes to parking or classes. I have seen far too many fellow vertically-challenged students, mothers with children and above average heighted-Joes have to stand and brave the shuttle.
It’s also fairly embarrassing to have to stand back and have my peers pass me and see that I have no choice other than to wait for another shuttle, and be late for class, just because of my height deficiency.
Students will always complain about parking and parking services will always recommend the shuttle and the Dee. It seems there’s no right answer for either parties and most students just have to suck it up and openly complain when the topic is brought into discussion.
If nothing else, I’m able to have a heated conversation with another student about parking and fill my social interaction requirement for the day instead of finding a spot in the W lot and getting to class at a reasonable time.