By BRIAN NAZZARO and LISA QUAGLINO
Ramapo College’s team of administrators and staff may be able to fix most problems to the student’s content, but the issue of parking on campus is one that refuses to disappear.
Complaints about the amount of parking, and the inconvenience of it, seem to be a topic of discussion for nearly every student who deals with the struggle of finding a parking spot on a day to day basis.
“I used to fight for a close space but now I’ve resigned myself to walking from D lot. It’s not worth the accident, students become reckless looking for parking,” says senior Chris Emch.
While freshmen are not allowed to keep cars on campus, spots dwindle in the cold weather for students with cars. Due to construction near Mackin Hall and unfortunate weather in the winter spaces become scarce.
Not only is parking limited to those who commute, but it seems even more limited to students who live on campus. For some, being able to park your car on campus means having to walk quite a long distance from your dorm building, as is the case with The Overlook.
Overlook-at this mess
The Overlook has some of the worst parking on campus. There are approximately 144 rooms in Overlook, each holding up to four residents, meaning that there can be a total of 576 students in the building at one time. Even if half of these students have cars, just a glance at the lot proves that it is a struggle to find parking.
“Some people will sit and wait for someone to walk out of the building to take their parking spot. If you don’t get a spot in the lot you have to park in the parking deck, and resident ID cards from The Overlook don’t swipe in at the parking deck meaning you have to push the button and talk to public safety,” complains Shane’ Lopez, a Junior here at Ramapo. “The worst part is walking back to the building down the path right next to the road. It’s pretty narrow, and too far, especially when it’s cold out.”
“There’s only one parking deck and limited parking everywhere else, and instead of building more parking and improving what we already have, they keep working on housing and dorms even though we don’t even fill what we have,” says Lopez.
Parking gets even worse after a large snowfall. Plows on campus push the snow often into empty, usable parking spots, both in the commuter lot and resident parking areas, lowering the number of spaces even further.
Once the roads are plowed, they often leave the snow piled up in front of parked cars, blocking them into their spots with mounds of snow. As if snowstorms weren’t frustrating enough, having to shovel your car out of a spot because of a plow just adds to the stress.
Commuters don’t seem to have it any easier when it comes to finding parking at school. “I understand there are a limited number of spaces but that isn’t even the primary complaint,” says senior and commuter Valerie Torizzo.
A parking permit costs $200 for an academic year, regardless of whether the student is a commuter or dorms on campus. The permit is only refundable to people who would be graduating in the middle of an academic year, such as December. If a student chooses to study abroad for a semester they are basically being forced to pay for parking they are not utilizing.
“This is ridiculous, I pay a lot of money for parking and I should at least have access to all the spaces. That isn’t the case in the wintertime. It’s annoying enough fighting for a space then walking up Cardiac Hill in the winter, but having to park further away because spaces are taken by mountains of snow is absurd,” says Torizzo.
Ice is another issue that plagues the parking areas. The pathways aren’t always salted in a timely manner so getting to and from the parking lots can be quite hazardous.
Public Safety has also been heavily criticized by the students and even some faculty for their role in the parking catastrophe. They even go as far as to boot the cars of students and visitors without proper permits.
“If their sole job is to drive around ticketing people than I think they’re doing a bang up job,” says Torizzo.
Hopefully, with more pressure from students, parking conflicts can be resolved and result in happier drivers on campus.