The other day I came to my 11 a.m. class 15 minutes early as usual to allow myself enough time to find a parking spot. After a quick pass through lots 10 and 13, I headed to the tennis courts. Once again, no spots were available.
With time running out, I parked in a designated blue spot in lot 13. To no surprise, I found that little green envelope under my windshield wiper. Furthermore, there were at least seven other cars that had the mark of the parking division. Twice now this semester I have missed class due to inadequate parking.
The choices are either show up an hour early, miss class or pay $35 to park. Parking last semester was never an issue. There were always a few spots open at the tennis courts.
However, this semester parking has been a chronic issue. No doubt the destruction of the parking garage to build a student orientation center — created for those massive amounts of incoming freshman — has decreased parking spots. We all know that the increasing issue of parking is not a result of more students attending SIUC.
Past remedies offered for parking are almost as useful as spending $1.5 million to try to boost enrollment. The idea of enrolling for 8 a.m. classes is literally not possible for most students since classes are only offered at one specific time block.
Parking across Route 51 is also not possible because I do not have time. I’m sure most students don’t have the time either to spend 45 minutes before class parking and walking. Yes, faculty members pay for parking, but so do we, and our fees and tuition help pay for that faculty.
This among many other issues, I believe, will only hinder SIUC’s attempt to increase enrollment. Most students I speak to agree that this is a small issue with big problems. Word of mouth, such as the recent ad buy, speaks to perspective students too. For me and my peers, that message is simple: SIUC should not be your first choice.
senior from Centralia studying political science and international studies