It’s a regular sight every weekday morning on Oswego State’s campus – a frenzy of cars lined up waiting in the commuter parking lots, frantic drivers competing to stalk out a student walking toward the parking lot. Not only is the severe shortage of commuter parking spots on campus unfair to commuter students, but it also wastes students’ time.
Oswego State enrolls 8,300 students, with 4,100 living in the on-campus resident halls and leaving around 4,200 commuters, according to the university website. It’s clear to any member of the Oswego State community that there are not 4,200 parking spots readily available for commuter students looking to park on campus after paying over $100 for a parking pass. While the logical solution would be to make more commuter parking lots available, just this past summer the university destroyed a 150-space commuter parking lot to begin construction on the science buildings, according to a news release on the college website. Since construction started, Lot 23, a former commuter lot, has been turned into an employee-only lot since two former employee lots are in the construction zone. This doesn’t seem logical considering there are 1,795 faculty and staff members, full-time and part-time, employed by the school according to the Oswego State’s 2010 Annual Report.
Just this morning, every parking spot in the C-15, C-18, C-30, and C-32 lots were filled; meaning the parking lots behind Culkin Hall, the Newman Center, near Sheldon, and the three lone rows at the end of the Funnelle and Hart Hall resident parking lot. Looking at the Oswego State parking guide, that leaves commuter students to park at Laker Hall across Route 104 and rely on the Green Route shuttle to get to class. Good luck guessing what time to arrive to Laker Hall in order to catch the bus and make it to class on time, since the online bus schedule does not list arrival or departure times of the Green Route shuttle.
It is unfair for Oswego State to demand students to pay for a parking pass without guaranteeing its students convenient parking spots. Faculty and staff should not have priority over commuter students. Since there are over 2,000 more commuter students than faculty and staff members, the parking lots should reflect that. Instead of employee lots making up the majority of on-campus parking lots, it should at least be split more evenly, if not greater priority given to the students who pay to park on campus.
The student body must unite together to confront the university about this problem. Start petitions, send emails. While the Parking Office may choose to ignore one voice, 4,200 voices will be impossible to ignore.