This article was originally published in The Dynamo on March 7, 1997.
There have been several complaints issued by students about the lack of parking as well as the safety issues that it causes on Mount Union’s campus this year.
According to Blaine Lewis, the director of the Physical Plant, there was a Parking Review Committee established last spring to deal with the pressing issue of the lack of parking. This committee of 14 individuals consisted of faculty, staff, resident students and commuting students. The committee came up with several suggestions to improve campus parking, including making a parking lot where Memorial Hall used to stand.
“The Administrative Council vetoed the idea of placing a parking lot where Memorial used to be because it would ruin the atmosphere on that side of campus,” Lewis said. “The college does not want to have an image of brick and concrete. With the additions to Timken, an added parking lot would create a busy atmosphere rather than a natural one.”
The committee also came up with not allowing freshman to have cars on campus. This idea was rejected because it would discourage students from coming to Mount Union.
Class designated parking was also rejected because students from all classes live in all of the dorms.
Terra Brown, a sophomore commuting student, thinks that maybe safety and getting to class on time is more important than having a “natural” campus.
“Most of the parking lots are full of cars and do not move,” Brown said. “When I arrive at school at 9 a.m., the parking lots by King, the Campus Center, the New Dorm, the streets and the Theatre are all full. I end up parking across from the theatre and end up being late to class.”
The lack of parking on the side of campus that houses Elliot, McMaster, and Ketcham Halls presents a safety problem for their residents.
Many students are forced to park at Cope Hall or halfway across campus and walking back to their dorms alone at night.
According to Lewis, there is adequate parking for every one of the cars that were registered on campus this year. Between campus parking and street parking, there are 1200 available spots.
“There are 151 parking spaces on State Street across from Cunningham and McCready,” Lewis said. “Whereas these spots may not be convenient, they have been newly paved, are well lit and are patroled by security. Those students who do not use their cars on a regular basis during the week are strongly suggested to park in those lots.”
The Physical Plant has written hundreds of tickets and placed wheel locks on more than 20 cars.
According to Brown, however, a parking ticket is better than being late to class or to an exam.
“The college realized that parking is a sore issue here on campus,” Lewis said. “It is searching for a way to make the situation better. The issue is not lack of parking, but where students park and how that convenient parking spot is. Right now, students need to think before they park and be considerate to other students who may use their cars every day.”