Parking. It’s an ongoing discussion at Millersville University. The argument has always been there is not enough parking. Administration and MUPD argue that there is plenty of parking, and honestly, there is. There are a lot of commuter spaces. There is a lot in front of McComsey, behind Luek, next to Caputo, between Witmer and Hash, and behind the library and the SMC. I will agree that there are many white lines. However, there is a huge problem occurring in each of these locations.
If I can only park in white spots as a commuter with a white pass, why can others park in white spots with yellow passes? Faculty and staff are to blame for why it appears to never be enough parking. On any given day, a commuter will arrive to class and find many of these parking lots filled with yellow passes in not just yellow lined spots, but many of the white spots too.
The most frustrating thing is when they are parked in white lined spots, and there are yellow lined spots open. I have and issue with this situation for two reasons. The first issue that I have is that if I park in a spot that does not match my pass, I will receive a ticket and a fine. If a faculty or staff member parks in a spot that does not match their tag, they are legally entitled to do so. How is this fair when us commuters have to fight with not only other students for parking, but everyone else at the school, when they have the luxury of parking wherever they want.
The second matter, which I find more frustrating, is the fact that I pay for my pass, and faculty and staff do not. Not only is my pass more regulated, but a commuter is paying over $100 for a year pass and the staff member that just parked in my white lined spot did not have to pay a cent. If anything, the rules should be the other way around. Since we are paying for our spot and paying tuition for the faculty and staff to be here, shouldn’t we have the freedom to park in any spot and they have to hunt a little harder? Afterall, if a professor walks in late because of parking, it doesn’t matter because they run the class, but god forbid I show up late because of parking, they just tell me to come earlier and mark me late.
While I realize that this rule will not change, at least make the system work better for those needing to park. To help the process, I have thought of a few solutions. The first one is fairly simple. You can only park in your pass color spots, no exceptions on either side. This frees up the spots used by faculty and staff. Most faculty and staff are here all day while commuters come and go. If a white spot is taken by a faculty or staff member, the spot is gone for the day. Most commuters cycle through, freeing up spots throughout the day.
Another possible solution to this ongoing problem is to have assigned lots. Some universities assign lots based on building proximity and campus need. If a student is primarily in a certain building, they can receive a pass for a lot near that building for the semester or year or their residential proximity to the campus can also limit where they can park. I understand we have a shuttle that can bring students around the campus to various lots, but if the student misses the scheduled pick up, then this system fails them. By assigning specific lots to park in can help regulate the use of the shuttle to be more effective as students will be more in sync to the pick up times and locations.
The idea of a commuter student means flexibility with coming and going from campus. In the end, there seems to be the most rules a restrictions on those passes. A solution needs to be found and commuters need to have an easier time finding parking without having to battle with faculty and staff for a white lined spot. Afterall, we are the ones paying for our right to a parking spot.