The Parking Predicament

by Catie Keho

Every student on Mount Saint Mary College’s campus with a parking permit seems to have a problem finding a parking spot. There appears to be an insufficient amount of parking space giving way to countless parking tickets each year. With the college’s expanding parameters and class sizes, Mount Saint Mary College’s parking situation has been on the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.

The rules enforced by security are as follows:

  • Resident students may only park on campus in the following lots: the rear parking lot of Sakac Hall, the rear parking lots of the college court buildings, the east parking lot of Guzman Hall.
  • After 8:30 pm and before 7:30 am are also permitted to park in Hudson Hall commuter lots. Vehicles must be moved promptly by 7:30 am.
  • Freshmen are not allowed to have vehicles on campus.
  • Commuter students cannot park in spaces with yellow painted lines, resident student lots, where prohibited by signage.
  • After 4 pm commuter students may park in yellow painted spaces provided signage does not prohibit it.
  • All vehicles on MSMC property must be registered with security and display a current parking permit.

Even with the rules stated, many students still have problems. Most of their arguments either stem from a lack of familiarity with the rules or the campus’ inordinate number of spots for every student.

Disgruntled student, Alyssa Kolano, finds herself recently saddled with three tickets she feels are undeserved. Two out of the three were received for parking in the “commuter lots” by Kaplan. Alyssa feels that the parking situation here is obviously inadequate and that students are forced to park wherever there is an open spot, regardless of whether or not they are allowed to. This means they’ll get a ticket and be forced to pay it; thus, generating more money for the school. This is a matter of opinion but one thing is for certain: there is a definite disconnect.

Sister Catherine Walsh, Division Chair of the Arts and Letters Department, is genuinely concerned about the dilemma. She believes that a “taskforce needs to be established.” She suggests that the task force be comprised of “commuters, residents, security personnel, grounds/maintenance workers.” She keenly feels that opening a dialogue can diminish most of the miscommunication that result in tickets. She maintains that a taskforce can develop the “creative alternative” that is much needed.

The school’s upcoming renovations make the eventuality of additional parking seem all the more distant. Most of the school’s donated funds have already been allotted to refurbishing the Dominican Center, commonly referred to as “the Mother House”. The school doesn’t derive its operating funds from tuition; ergo, this renovation is being subsidized solely by donations. Although Sister Catherine believes “a parking structure is necessary,” this seems like a necessary priority in the school’s donated budget.