BY JESSICA HARTLAND
Searching the crowded streets, driving by vacant lots and walking down the seemingly never ending blocks back to the apartments has become a daily routine for resident students as they battle the issue of parking.
Saint Peter’s College allows for residents with a valid parking pass to gain access to one lot throughout campus. The lot is located on Montgomery Street which is nearly three quarters of a mile from the nearest apartment buildings. This is the only location that permits overnight parking and the distance from the lot to the residences has been the source of negative feedback.
“Parking as a resident student is awful. I have a part time job in addition to being a full time student. I am constantly off to work, and having to walk practically a half mile to my car is such an inconvenience,” said a junior at the college who asked to remain anonymous.
The main reason behind the limited residential parking is to assure places for faculty and the commuter students.
“Residents tend to not move their cars all week, which then occupy spots by the main buildings affecting the staff as well as commuting students. And the other campus lots on the weekends are locked because the residents would not be out in time,” said Director of Campus Safety, Arthur Youmans.
Resident students who are juniors and seniors could keep their cars in their designated lot. Freshman and sophomores are not allowed to have their vehicles in the campus lot, unless otherwise approved by a Campus Safety official. Commuting students have limited access to all the lots throughout campus and they are required to move their cars by 11pm. Every student using the lots must have a parking pass which ranges from 150 dollars for commuters to 175 for the residents. Not only are the permissions of each type of student different, but most importantly, the risks.
“Safety is a huge concern of mine. Walking at night from the Armory lot to my apartment building always leaves me with a little fear on what could ever happen,” said a senior at St. Peter’s College.
Campus Safety now has an overnight shuttle so that the students do not have to walk after 11pm. The shuttle transports them from the Armory lot to their buildings to ensure safety.
And while the issue of ensuring safety has been addressed, the expansion of resident parking is not being discussed.
“There has been no consideration for upcoming plans, for anyone, more property will be needed before it becomes a thought,” said Youmans.
The resident parkers remain hopeful that their concerns are heard and a compromise on the parking guidelines could be made.
“If residents could park in the various faculty lots around campus, after the faculty has left and leave before they are back in the morning, that would really help a lot,” said the junior student. “Do I believe it needs to be addressed immediately, I’ll live. But it would be nice if they took into consideration how truly inconvenient the parking is, and made efforts to change it.”