Event parking traffic halts academia

by Emmilly Nguyen, Staff Columnist

“Aztecs – Part of the experience of being an Aztec is the sense of community and engaging in different activities such as sports, theater, the arts, dance and other special events. These activities in addition to study, academics and research help to build the true Aztec for Life experience”

This was the beginning of the mass email sent to the student body, notifying the closures of two parking structures, PS 4 and PS 5 during Nov. 18-20. These San Diego State parking structures were closed during school hours to accommodate attendants of the basketball games that took place during that time.

How can the school say academics and other activities are important to being an Aztec when academics get the shorter end of the stick every time there happens to be a basketball game or a concert? These activities are important to a university’s culture, but it should be in addition to, not more important than academics.

Students come to a college for primarily these reasons: to further their education, receive a degree and get a good job. End of story. Anything else the school has to offer simply becomes an added bonus. An added bonus definitely shouldn’t get in the way of a student’s academia.

The email proceeded to add insult to injury through insincere recommendations, ones which should have been made to visitors not tuition-paying students.

“Please read the following carefully to ensure you are able to find parking in a timely manner and to avoid being late to any mid-terms you may have scheduled,” the email read.

In other words, sorry for the inconvenience, students, but it’s on you because recommendations have been provided. If this decision to close two parking structures makes a student miss an exam or midterm, it’s simply on them. You probably should have left home earlier to get to school and park in a park in a more timely manner.

“We always have staff present at structures before we close them,” Debbie Richeson, director of Parking and Support Services said. “The staff give status checks to the availability and coordinate with the traffic controllers.  When we are just about to reach capacity, we give the word to close down.  Should there be a few extra spaces left after doing so we will let in those few extra,”

For those who remembered how horrible the parking structures were at the beginning of the semester, that was a drill. Parking structures would fill up, which made finding another one and getting to class on time a nightmare.

As if the parking lots aren’t hectic enough on a normal school day, with closed parking structures the other lots become overcrowded rat mazes. This negatively affects a great portion of the study body and disrupts school activity.

The schedule of many students schedules gets disrupted by the parking lot closures, residual traffic, and distraction of events and visitors on campus—visitors who are enjoying SDSU’s perks as students pay the price. ”

When did the capital gains of the school become more important than the education and students?

The answer? When SDSU started to extort its facilities intended for student usage and used parking structures to maximize profits.

Making money from students who pay for semester-long parking passes, which should ensure them a parking spot at least somewhere on campus, isn’t enough. They must squeeze even more money out event goers, earning $15 per car for a men’s basketball game.

It’s similar to paying for a 24-our gym membership, expecting access every hour of the day, only to find it’s closed for practically the entire day for a toy sailboat race in the swimming pool. What’s even worse is those people are paying to be there too. SDSU students don’t receive a refund for the days parking structures are closed. Instead this campus thrives off of the money coming in from visitors, while students anxiously fight for an open parking spot.