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Why students should quit complaining about parking on campus

Students park in the dirt lot to avoid parking far away or waiting to find a spot near their classes. (EN Photo / Luke Janke)

Students have been complaining about parking for a while now. FGCU grew faster than expected, and all of a sudden, there were more students to accommodate than the campus had space for.
There is a possibility that three new garages will be built in the next few years, though it’s also possible that the project may get pushed back several years.
If it were to happen sooner rather than later, would it fix the problem?
When I first started at FGCU in 2012, I looked at the campus map and parked in the garage closest to where my classes were; that’s logical. It’s also convenient, hence why most people do it.
The story was always the same, though, especially in Garages 1 and 3, consequently the most conveniently located garages: circle the first floor in hopes there is a spot left, and if not, trek it up to one of the higher levels.
Then, I discovered Garage 2. Garage 2 and I have since forged a strong friendship. Garage 2 always has parking. As a matter of fact, this semester, I have never had to leave the first level to find a spot.
Whenever people complain about parking, I try to help them see the light, but alas, they cringe and complain further. “That’s too far!” they say.
Seriously? It is a five-minute walk to the library. I would much rather get to school 15 minutes earlier to get a guaranteed spot than spend those 15 minutes circling a parking garage in frustration along with at least 10 other frustrated people in their cars.
“It might help in the long term, but doing it now will simultaneously make driving and parking more irritating by dealing with construction around campus. I could also see it having no impact whatsoever,” senior Paul Dolan
Sophomore Caitlyn Mannherz, who commutes to campus from Naples twice a week, said she thinks it would help. “If the school keeps growing, they’re eventually going to have to create more parking,” Mannherz said. “It would also be great if they installed parking guidance systems that count the number of available spaces on each parking level.”
Jayne Johnston, a senior Environmental studies major, is also a commuter. She said she doesn’t have trouble finding parking because there is always parking in lot seven, which happens to be the next-door neighbor of my aforementioned friend, Garage 2.
“It depends on where people want to park and weather, as there’s no covered parking in that lot,” Johnston said.
So, building three new garages — unless they are somehow as conveniently located as garage 1 and 3, which is not really possible — may not fix the daily complaints.
People should be grateful they have a car. Park where there are spots available and walk a little bit extra.

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  • K

    KaleyNov 15, 2015 at 1:21 am

    I started in Spring of 2012 and am now a grad student here. The issue with parking that many of us have is that they are expanding freshman housing to no end with extreme luxuries (and yes I mean extreme, especially when looking at other universities) without expanding elsewhere. SoVi is for freshmen only so where are they going to go once they aren’t? NL is packed to the brim, WL is worse, and the areas surrounding the school are kicking students out or restricting it so they can’t even get into an apartment unless they have a great credit score (which is difficult since most are just now building their credit) or have their parents paying for it. Parking is a must, especially when students who live here are being made to move their cars for games. You don’t go into someone’s home and tell them they need to move their car for a HOA meeting, so they shouldn’t do that to students who pay over $700 a month each. I live in Bonita and I have primarily night classes or am on campus from the afternoon until 8pm. I shouldn’t have to have to walk across campus out by the pyramids that late at night. Yes, there is security to walk us to our cars but after a 14 hour day on campus, the last thing you want to do is wait for an officer to walk you to your car, and that’s assuming you feel comfortable with, what is essentially, a stranger with several weapons walking with you on an empty campus. The school tore down the entrance that SG money built for a brand new when we did NOT need it, they built 2 new freshman dorms, and they built another academic building while working on cutting programs, kicking students out of their parking at their home, and expanded to MWF classes (which makes it even MORE difficult for students who work/commute and now lose a day of pay) in order to get a grant to build another building to show they use classes when they could have started offering more classes since half the rooms on campus were still empty. It’s more than just complaining about parking. If the parking issue is all you see then you’re severely misguided. I love this school. I love my professors and my colleagues. However, the leadership in this school is severely out of touch with what we need.