Pulling emergency brake on parking complaints

Every year the same complaints about parking resurface: commuters can’t find spaces, the residence lots are over-packed and employees get preferential parking.

This year it’s even worse. The complaints have intensified due to new zoning and the re-designation of parking lots due to construction.

If you ask any commuter student what they think about parking, you’re going to get some variety of ‘parking sucks’, as an answer. Upset employees spoke about their displeasure with parking at a recent Faculty Assembly meeting. I live on-campus and therefore could not possibly understand the hassle of commuting, but I do understand one thing: hearing people complain about parking, for lack of a better word, sucks.

Almost every semester since I’ve been a student at Oswego State, The Oswegonian has run a story about parking. Whether a parking lot has closed or commuter spaces are re-assigned, parking always seems to be an issue. And like I said, the situation this year seems to be even worse.

After adding an overflow lot for commuters last year, the parking system was shaken up again with the recent construction on campus. Over 200 spaces were lost due to construction and the changes were felt by every demographic on campus. While commuters seemed to take the biggest cuts (like they usually do), employees were also affected. And the complaints started rolling in.

Dealing with construction restraints on a project that many of us will never see is frustrating. But what’s even worse is having to listen to people complain about it all the time.

The most annoying complaints come from the faculty and staff members. Unlike us current students, there are faculty members who will see the result of all this. They will step foot in the promised land that will eventually be the new Piez Hall. And they will be the ones who teach and research in the facilities that Piez Hall will provide. Also, unlike us resident students, they will never be forced to park in a place that is nicknamed the "rape lot."

Oswego State is one of the few campuses that allows every student the opportunity to purchase a parking pass. Unlike other schools that restrict parking passes based on the amount of credits a student has, Oswego State gives every student the freedom to bring their vehicles to school. Because of this lenient policy, there can be an overflow of cars on campus. But if this policy did not exist, I bet students would find even more to complain about. Can you imagine the outrage that would happen if Oswego suddenly prevented freshmen and sophomores from having cars on campus? I bet it would be much worse than hearing complaints about having to park at Romney.

The Parking Committee has tried its best to institute changes that will make the parking cuts less severe on students. The addition of the Green Route bus system will transport students and staff who choose to park at Romney to the Campus Center and Sheldon Hall. The costs of parking passes for Romney have also been cut to try to compensate for the parking spaces that were lost. These accommodations are probably good enough.

As a campus, we need to accept these changes. Complaining will get us nowhere. Faculty, staff and students need to stop wasting their time advocating for changes that will not occur any time soon. Like cold winters with lots of snow, parking problems are part of being a student at Oswego State. Parking sucks, but there’s nothing we can do about it.