Student parking problems cannot be ignored

MarchaŠ Grair

Campus Conundrums.

I am sure most Kent State students could find many uses for $160.

A textbook. A spring break wardrobe. A few weeks of food supplies.

Money does not come easy in college, especially when it is consumed by university expenses.

Parking isn’t the only problem students face

at Kent State.

Between inconsistency from professor to professor and confusing class descriptions, planning a schedule can cause headaches. Do you have a complaint about Kent State’s courses? Leave a comment on our new message board, “Campus Conundrums.” You just might see your problem in a future column.

When I discovered my student parking pass would be $160 for the year, I expected to get a lot for my money. I pay thousands of dollars for tuition and room and board. If I have to pay an outrageous fee for parking, it should at least be designed for my convenience.

It has almost been an entire year since I put that S-Science pass on my mirror, and the experience I have had with parking on this campus disgusts me.

Like any good consumer, I like to evaluate the true value of my purchases.

With that said, I would like to thank Kent State parking for:

• My endless reliance on PARTA.

Most who deny a parking dilemma at Kent State cite the campus bus system as assistance to students who park a long distance from their dorms. They fail to acknowledge PARTA’s unreliable schedule and inadequate passenger space in bad weather.

It is impossible to make a practical schedule based on PARTA’s transportation. Sometimes, buses will come every five minutes. Other times, I won’t see a bus for half an hour. For students who work and cannot get to their cars, this creates a major problem.

There are numerous times I’ve watched a packed bus drive past me as icicles develop on my nose.

• The embarrassing dives I’ve taken drudging across campus.

Unfortunately, with such a complicated bus system, students are forced to walk ridiculous distances to their dorms or classes in icy weather. Constant mile-long walks across black ice always equals trouble. Ask the wet pair of pants sitting on top of my heater.

• The extreme back cramps.

Whenever I stay off campus with a Kent State student, I realize why a lack in parking hurts commuters the most. Many are forced to park at Summit East or commuter lots on the outside of campus. When students have to schedule classes back-to-back, it is impractical to carry loads of books and materials around campus all day or bring them on the bus.

More than once, I’ve accidentally whacked a poor passerby with my “bag of doom,” as I limped across campus. Such baggage could be eliminated with closer or more accessible parking spaces.

• Countless parking tickets.

Many dorms do not have practical parking or parking rules to accommodate students. Students who need to move their cars closer to the dorms to unload or load their belongings can park at parking meters. Unfortunately, these meters are few and most have a maximum time limit of 30 minutes.

It takes me that much time to get upstairs and catch my breath. When I finally do, I return to find a yellow envelope nestled with love under my windshield wiper.

Thank you Parking Services.

• Massive safety issues.

After a certain time, the regular bus routes cease to exist. PARTA sends a night shuttle for those who do not want to walk to their dorms at a late hour.

The shuttle, however, does not always answer phone requests for a ride and cannot always offer instant service. It is extremely creepy to be alone in some of the parking lots on campus at night.

I’ve even called the night shuttle and was told they would not come to my parking lot. At that point, I did not just feel disserviced, but unsafe.

I’ve heard parking decks are impractical, and extra parking lots already exist to alleviate student stress. It seems endless walks and back-breaking labor are my destiny at Kent Sate.

I’ve evaluated the product.

My feet hurt, and I want a refund.

MarchaŠ Grair is a sophomore electronic media productions major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].