Gatepost Grievances: Would you want to park that far away?

By Ashley Wall

Associate Editor

By Donald Halsing

News Editor

As a Framingham State University student, have you ever gotten ticketed for parking behind McCarthy because you were late for your 8:30 a.m. class and all the close commuter parking lots were full? 

We have.

Have you ever slipped and fallen on ice trying to get to your car in Maple lot because the RamTram takes too long and you were late for your job interview?

We have.

How about sending numerous emails and phone calls to Campus Police trying to determine the status of your resident parking pass two weeks after the fall semester has started?

We definitely have. 

Oh, and don’t even get us started on guest parking. 

Parking at Framingham State is clearly a hassle. From overpriced parking permits to inadequate time restrictions for commuter and guest parking, the list of complaints goes on and on. 

Framingham State is supposedly a commuter-friendly university – 53% of the population in fact – but the worst issues found within the parking department come from those who are commuters or visitors. 

Commuters can choose from three glorious parking lots, all for $100, but they must leave campus before 2 a.m.

Fortunately, resident students are able to sell their souls for $500 in order to receive a parking permit. 

In doing so, they will receive the wonderful gift of waiting an outrageous amount of time for a RamTram, or the opportunity to participate in a 30-minute cardio workout, just to get to their vehicles.

The latter mode of transport is especially true when the RamTram stops running at 2 a.m. and doesn’t start again until 6:10 a.m.

That’s inefficient and counterproductive if you ask us. 

Our University’s parking department also offers limited support for overnight guest parking. Guests have to go through a tiresome process of applying for a temporary parking permit as well as registering their car within the department.

This can only be done after 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and after 3 p.m. on Fridays. It seems pretty unlikely to us that visitors will want to wait around so late in the day to be able to register their cars and park. 

Additionally, all temporary parking permits for overnight guests expire at 7 a.m. the next morning. 

Let’s be real with one another for a minute – as an overnight guest pass recipient, we all know you won’t be awake and willing to move your car that early in the morning. 

If yoo’re reading, Campus Police Department, we’ve got some questions for you:

 Firstly, why are you expecting college students to pay such large amounts of money to park on a campus that is already setting us up to have to take out second mortgages on our future homes?

Next, why are the time restrictions for commuter and guest parking so inadequate?

Lastly, how many broken legs are you willing to allow students to get before you find closer parking solutions for those dreadful winter months?

We contacted Campus Police this week for a comment on these issues. Chief Brad Medeiros responded that he has “forwarded [our] request to others that oversee various components of the information [we] are seeking.” This was truly a helpful response. 

Don’t worry, we have some suggestions for you! 

Begin by listening to students’ parking experiences that have been expressed year after year. 

While the same issues continue to occur, your department is more focused on ticketing students instead of offering them better parking options to begin with.

Imagine for a moment you are a student on this campus. Would you want such restricted parking times and inconveniently located lots?

So, Campus Police Department, do you need to pay to park on campus? Would you want to park that far away?

[Editor’s note: Gatepost Grievances is a bi-weekly column. The opinions of the authors do not reflect the opinions of the entire Gatepost staff.]