Letter to the Editor (10/18/19)

Parking on college campuses can be a huge issue, and here at Gustavus it has been an ongoing issue that needs to be solved. Personally, the parking situation at Gustavus has been anything but great from the four years I have been attending. Struggling to find parking each year has become the big trend and challenge on campus. It is almost like a mini celebration when you find parking in the lot outside of your dorm building.

Gustavus has two parking lots for three dormitories: Uhler, Coed and Complex. These two lots are not adequate enough for all of the students living there; one lot is small with two rows of parking and the other has four rows.

When this problem occurs, the students must then drive to other dorm parking lots, and a domino effect occurs of people not being able to find parking in their lots.

If they do not find parking in the lots then they take the risk and park in other lots such as the visitor lot and the green permit parking lots which will result in a ticket from Campus Safety that costs $30.

Gustavus has also been seeing an increase in the student body, this year they brought in over 600 new students.

This is great for the college and for the students to meet new people and have them join their organizations.

However, this is not a great thing for parking because a lot of these incoming students will bring a vehicle to campus with them, which will make the park- ing issue much worse.

With the increasing class sizes, the parking situation is getting worse with each year. Students sometimes have to park on the opposite side of campus or even off campus, which is fine until the harsh winter hits on the hill and you’re blasted with snowy wind while walking to your room or class.

Gustavus students pay a lot of money for parking permits, $280 a year, just to end up not finding parking in the lots they live next to.

People living off campus struggle with the parking situation too. Those who commute must park in the Beck parking lot, which has limited space, or try and find parking in one of the dorm parking lots.

Gustavus must address this situation so that students can be able to park in the lots next to their dorms. One of the ways they can help solve this issue is by building more parking lots on campus.

Gustavus has space to build or expand previous parking lots, and some students have even suggested making a park- ing ramp of about two levels where the Coed parking lot is.

A parking ramp would greatly help in that area of campus, and would allow a lot more of the students that live over there to park close.

Another possible solution is for Gustavus to not allow first- years to bring cars on campus.

This is a controversial solution, but upperclassmen have jobs off campus, internships, and more difficult classes which may require traveling such as nursing students who have clinicals two to three times a week.

This solution does save Gustavus the most money and does not require them to build any new ramps. The administration must find a solution whether they take funding from somewhere else or use tuition money to pay for it.

Gustavus could fight back though and simply tell people to walk across the small campus and off campus students to use public transportation.

Gustavus is not that large of a campus and can be walked across in about ten minutes depending on where you live and how fast you walk. Off campus students can take public transportation or walk from their house if they are close enough.

In conclusion, Gustavus must figure out a way to address the parking problem on their campus, not only for off campus students, but for students who want to park next to their own dorm rooms.

Once they solve this problem, students will be happier, and will not be getting tickets from Campus Safety. Students will also be safer in the harsh winter weather.