Parking remains one of the most contentious issues across college campuses today.
Who can park where, how much parking is available and what is being done are questions that many students have.
Salisbury University is no exception.
Last Tuesday, students had a chance to participate in a Parking and Transportation Town Hall and voice their concerns over the parking situation.
Increased fines for improper parking on campus have contributed significantly to the unrest among students who may be expected on campus for meetings or appointments, as explained by Student Government Association Junior Speaker of Senate David McCreary.
“A senator on our committee got an $80 ticket when he was coming to our committee meeting to talk about parking, so it has definitely affected a lot of people,” McCreary said.
The root of the issue is difficult to identify. There is confusion surrounding whether this problem is due to lack of space or lack of planning.
SGA Senior Senator Alexis Kelser believes it to be both.
“The GSU parking lot is half empty, but the parking lot is full near the freshman dorms,” Kelser said. “I don’t think that they [the university administration] planned efficiently the amount of the freshman class that was going to come in and being able to make sure they could all fit in Wayne or Avery or offer some garage passes.”
The need for ample on-campus parking is essential for commuters or off-campus inhabitants of the Salisbury community, as many congregate in the library during the evening hours to complete their studies.
When asked if the new ticketing policy authorizing officials to ticket those parking on campus after hours would impact students and their accustomed study routine, Kelser responded with a condemning “Yes."
“There is plenty of space for parking at night, so there is no reason at all to do it [give students tickets],” Kelser said.
“People are not going to have the freedom to come to school events or study with study groups,” McCreary said.
For some students determined to study into the evening, they are forced to park far away from academic buildings, sometimes as far as Sea Gull Stadium.
As dusk comes earlier and earlier, the problem only exacerbates itself. The parking lots and garage have been the sites of assaults and burglaries in the past.
“It’s just not safe to walk from there at night, not only when it gets dark, but when it gets late," Kelser said.
McCreary believes that restructuring the parking schedules and passes to serve more vehicles is tough, but doable.
“I definitely think that we can,” McCreary said. “I think taking a step towards fixing it, in a good way without affecting a lot of different groups, would be groundbreaking and helpful for everyone.”
The door is always open to anyone who would like to voice their opinion or help make a difference in issues occurring on campus.
“I have always tried to advocate for people to come to SGA, because we try to be the voice of the students as much as possible,” McCreary said. “Administration is amazing at making the rules and things that guide us, but they don’t always have the answers.”
McCreary encourages all to approach administration with concerns, as they are very open.
“I also think that it would be important for students to come in, just because we really want to know what they are thinking,” Kelser said.
Students can voice their concerns with parking either by contacting the Parking Services office or SGA.
By ABBY SINGLE
Featured image from the Chronicle of Higher Education.