FGCU should shuttle out cash for game day buses
Ever since Florida Gulf Coast University’s men’s basketball team earned a spot in the Sweet 16 in 2013, attendance at campus games has grown tremendously. The excitement also caused a lot of headaches for residents of on campus housing in North Lake Village and still is due to the lack of parking near Alico Arena. Although the cost of shuttles for games is a whopping $11,880, I think it’s worth the pretty penny.
Students who live in seven of the buildings at North Lake are asked to move his or her vehicles three hours prior to a game to make space for those filing in to attend that night’s game. But how fair is that really? Students who pay to live on campus housing should not have to comply to make way for others who want to attend the games.
A simple solution could be that those who do not live on campus are directed to campus parking such as parking garage one next to Sugden Hall, the dirt lot next to that garage or parking garage three. These large parking areas have enough space to comply with the demand during games while respecting the students who live at North Lake rather than having them compromise to fit outsiders’ needs. Shuttles would load and unload at the loop located on main campus, and there would be a second option of walking from the parking on campus to Alico Arena by way of the new boardwalk connecting North Lake Village and main campus.
This option also presents opportunities for students who are in need of service learning hours. Because traffic will be backed up due to the large amount of people wanting to attend the games, students could volunteer their time to help direct the flow of traffic. This could aid in assisting shuttles getting to and from the shuttle loop located on the main campus to escort guests to and from the game. This would also encourage others in the community and off-campus housing residents to carpool to help reduce the amount of space that will be filled during parking and help reduce the amount of gasoline being used as well as harmful toxins being emitted into the air by the vehicles.
Though $11,880 looks like a large number on paper, this is a viable alternative to assist guests attending basketball games, as well as respecting the students. As a former North Lake resident, I remember the annoyance I felt when I was coming home late after work to not find any spots on game nights and not wanting to move my car on days I was able to attend games. I think that the university should seriously consider the option of shuttles to provide transportation to and from the games and bite the bullet on the cost.