Event parking pandemonium detracts from learning

Event parking pandemonium detracts from learning

by Erik Sena

Let’s be honest here–driving to school is a pain. It’s even worse when it takes you almost an hour to find one parking space, but that’s not the worst part. The worst part is coming to campus only to discover there’s a basketball game or another huge event going on. These events are ominous indications of one thing: parking structure closures.

[quote]I’m probably not alone when I say that I absolutely despise parking structure closures.[/quote] Luckily for me, most of my classes begin in the morning and end early in the afternoon, so this problem doesn’t affect me.

Students who have classes or club meetings beginning in the afternoon or the evening are the ones who bear the brunt of this problem. Because of that, parking structures should never be closed off to students, the people who need them the most.

Students should always have precedence above all other visitors at the school. San Diego State is first and foremost an institution of education, so it should be catering to the students’ scholastic needs before others’ recreational pursuits.

[quote]A lot of students need to get to class in a timely manner, but it seems as if SDSU would much rather make money off of sports fans and events. The idea that SDSU would put moneymaking events before the academics of its students really shows where its priorities are.[/quote]

There are other parking structures available on the other side of College Avenue during these closures. But the time students could be spending in class learning new information is wasted scouring the available parking structures for a single spot.

Students don’t pay hundreds of dollars a year for parking passes only to be denied a spot because of a relatively unimportant event. Frankly, it’s ridiculous and inexcusable.

Colleges should be focusing efforts on furthering the education of students and preparing them for bright futures, not expending valuable time and money on meaningless events for a financial gain.

When it comes down to it, parking structures should be reserved for students and faculty only. It’s hard enough finding parking without these grandiose events and ten times harder when they’re happening on campus.

How can we go about fixing this problem? We could start by building visitor-only parking structures to accommodate the floods of people that come in from outside communities.

Thankfully, SDSU has already taken that first step with the construction of the Q Lot, which is reserved strictly for visitors. However, this lot isn’t big enough to house the vehicles that make their way to SDSU during every event, so we need multiple visitor-only lots.

[quote]The school has already built and renovated other buildings, so why not build something that benefits the whole community? [/quote]Not only would additional structures free up spots for students who have night classes and other gatherings on campus, they would also divert traffic around the area.

Respectively, students and faculty with permits on their windshields or rearview mirrors should not be allowed into these potential lots, to maintain convenience for visitors. This way, both those inside and outside of the SDSU community would be satisfied.

Two parking structures, PS 4 and PS 5, were closed twice last month because of basketball games, according to the SDSU Police Department’s Facebook page.

With the SDSU men’s basketball team’s high national ranking, parking lot closures are likely to occur even more frequently as the semester progresses into the month of March, with March Madness right around the corner.

The bigwigs in charge are more concerned with lining their pockets and filling the bleachers of Viejas Arena than making things as convenient as possible for students.

Since, they’re paying for their education, students are more entitled than anyone else to park in the structures. Sure it’ll probably cost the school thousands of dollars in revenue if they allowed students to park in specific structures during large-scale events, but that’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. We’re talking about potentially hampering students’ ability to learn, something that’ll make or break their futures. It’s time we took this issue more seriously.



Photo by Monica Limzmeier