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S.O.S: Students at FGCU Are Honking for a Slow-To-Find Parking Spot

Tim Belizaire

The effort to find a parking spot concerns all students at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Fall semester started a few weeks ago, and the unsolved issue of limited parking spaces continues. Our campus is growing by leaps and bounds and freshmen are coming with suitcases full of dreams. They’re ignorant, though, about the ongoing problem of our university; garages and parking lots do not have enough spaces to host all these cars, hence, the race against time begins every single day.

At the beginning of the fall semester, all students went through a syllabus of their courses. Most highlight the importance of being responsible, professional and always on time for class. These ideal rules would apply perfectly except the university itself is not providing all the prerequisite supplies and tools needed.

Instead, most commuters are in a daily race against time, some driving long distances to get to campus. When arriving, they have to spend even more precious time finding a parking spot to make it to a class which has already started.

“Parking at FGCU has not been fun, it seems every day [it] becomes more difficult to find a spot close to the hall I’m going to,” senior Todd Watkins said.

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The day does not really start in a stress-free form. Every day, I walk around our beautiful campus, listening to whispers and complaints about parking, yet no solution has been achieved. Are the people in charge listening to us from their comfortable and cool offices? Of course not, because their parking spots are already reserved, while hundreds of students have to drive around for at least 30 minutes to find a spot.

“I think there is not enough space to accommodate the number of students who live off campus,” senior Allison Russ said. “The first week of school, I was late to class because I could not find a parking spot close enough to the building of my class.”

During the past week, I came to a valid conclusion; it’s easier to find a parking spot right in front of the White House than in Garage 4 of FGCU. Garage 4 is the first building students see when entering campus. Therefore, everyone tries to give it a shot and if they’re lucky enough, bingo, a spot is waiting for them.

Last week I made the mistake of looking into parking in Garage 4. It took me 15 minutes to get in and out, get stuck in traffic, and feel stressed because I was already late for my first class. I drove 35 minutes from my home to the campus and I spent 40 minutes on the campus to find a parking spot.

Tim Belizaire

“From now on, I try to be on campus an hour before class to have enough time to find a parking spot around,” Russ said.

Here are some solutions I think may help this situation:

The university administration can put up lighted signs with the number of vacancies, thus, students can check the availability of spots before entering the garage. The same technique is used in several international airports.

Additionally, the administration can lift a few restrictions that limit parking access to certain students. There are always dozens of free parking spots during class time, either reserved for visitors or faculty members who perhaps do not use them on a daily basis.

Tim Belizaire

The university needs to raise awareness and educate its students too. There are tens of freshmen who do not yet understand the significance of the issue. In lieu, they remain in the car for 10-15 minutes before they decide to leave the building. The line of cars behind them resembles a presidential motorcade.

“I think an effective solution would be something as simple as building more garages,” Watkins said.

This is a chronic problem that occurs at FGCU and remains unsolved. The academic semester should start with positivity and euphoria, not with stress and anxiety. We are not just numbers in the university’s bank account, but human beings who deserve to get a proper education by any means. This is an S.O.S. toward the people in charge of FGCU.

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About the Contributor
Tim Belizaire, Eagle News Assistant Photo Editor
Tim Belizaire is a junior majoring in journalism. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Cape Coral when he was 12. His goal is to either venture into photojournalism or investigative journalism. Tim spends his free time taking pictures or listening to Lana Del Rey for hours.

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