Staff Editorial – Students should shift parking complaints down a gear

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Parking on North Main is a hazard, especially when parallel parking is a rare skill, and anyone who lives on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus or drives to school knows that it can be an adventure to find a spot every single day.
But how much do students really know about the parking situation here at IWU?

Students living in Munsell-Ferguson know that it is a full-on brawl to get a spot in their parking lot. Anyone living in Gulick has no idea what is going on in the parking lot south of their dorm. Those who live in any dorm on the mini-quad know that they would love to park by CNS.

Those same students wish they learned how to unlock the magic of Main Street parallel parking, and they know that they usually must resort the Hansen lot or Shirk. And as the saying goes, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Students also recognize exactly what the little white ticket on their windshield means, especially since 320 citations have been written thus far during the 2012-2013 school year.

“One night I was all curled up in my bed when I remembered that my car was parked in the CNS parking lot for the night,” sophomore Audra James said. “I thought that if I moved it early in the morning, it would be okay. When I got up at 7:30 to move it, though, I was too late.”

On further investigation, it turns out that students can park in the CNS parking lot from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. Ms. James was about 30 minutes too late.

While at first glance parking may seem harsh, Wesleyanites don’t know how nice we have it.

Associate professor of English Wes Chapman, who attended graduate school at Cornell University said, “At Cornell – which isn’t even an urban school – if I was really lucky, I could get a space only a 20 minute walk away from my office, and if I was unlucky, the walk would be closer to 40 minutes.”

The parking passes there cost 800 dollars, whereas here at Illinois Wesleyan, it is free both to register and to get the decal you stick on your windshield. So maybe, just maybe, it’s not that bad here.

Illinois Wesleyan has 900 student parking spaces, 360 surrounding street lots and only 400 faculty spots. Security is also rather forgiving, as it takes three tickets and a tow sticker before cars can be towed. This year, only four cars have been towed and only 17 were towed last year.

Associate professor of English Pamela Muirhead said, “The complainers want campus parking to be as close as a home-garage. I doubt the university can pour enough concrete to satisfy everyone, nor should we try.”
Though the walks can suck in this crazy Central Illinois weather, the longest walk that IWU students face is less than ten minutes long. So overall, this complaint is a #IWUParkingProblems situation at best.

We have to realize that the parking problems for us really are just problems for us. Compared to other schools, IWU’s facilities are cushy.
Chapman says it best: “It is particularly absurd – and I see this all the time – to drive from one campus parking lot to another one, usually parking illegally, just to save a few minutes of time or to avoid a brief walk.  Get a grip, people!”