Let the people park!

At FSU, students learn valuable skills like effective speaking, persuasive writing and how to think critically. But for commuter students, the opportunity for learning goes beyond the classroom. On a daily basis, they learn how to stalk fellow commuter students to get their parking spaces.

Lack of parking is a sad reality most commuters have grown to tolerate at FSU. In the past year much of the parking shortage is due to the construction of the West Hall dormitory on the Maynard parking lot.

The FSU commuter-to-resident ratio is about 1:1. The populations of both resident and commuter students are growing every year. More students are choosing to attend FSU.

The rising student population brings about a growth in faculty and staff, which in turn requires the University to expand the number of offices to accommodate this expansion.

As a result of West Hall being constructed, O’Connor Hall will be converted into staff and faculty offices. The decision of the University to build a new residence hall is logical. But what isn’t rational is the University choosing to construct it on a commuter parking lot.

It only makes the ongoing parking issue worse.

The problem with parking at FSU has been an issue before construction of the new residence hall. In response to the ongoing demand for parking, FSU completed construction of a new commuter parking lot in 2015. But the addition of Salem End Lot hasn’t sufficed to accommodate the growing number of commuters. Salem End Lot has added 246 spaces, but with the closing of 140 spaces in Maynard Lot for the new dorm, there was only a gain of 106 spaces.

With the shortage of parking, many students have been late for class. And on several occasions, students have been seen running up Maynard Hill to avoid being late. Some students leave their homes early to find parking spaces, and many park at more distant parking lots.

A new parking lot has been purchased, but for resident students on Mount Wayte Avenue. This will free up some spaces in the Athletic Field Parking Lot, as several resident students will not be parking at that location.

But the problem still remains – there isn’t sufficient parking on campus to accommodate the commuter population. The University can still be considered a commuter school, and that is a driving reason why many students choose to attend. It’s understandable that the campus needs to expand with the growing population. But it must expand with all its students in mind.

To solve the ongoing issue of parking, the University needs to purchase more land to construct more parking lots. The construction of more lots should keep up with the growth of commuter students. Unfortunately for commuter students, parking space stalking isn’t a marketable skill or one they can put on their resumes.

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