Parking has been a concern among many students across campus, especially with the start of a petition that has amassed over 1,500 signatures.
In an interview, President Fred Clark (He/Him) said, “We pay close attention when petitions are circulating. I read the [BSU] Mobile App every day” as we went to further discuss student concerns regarding parking.
“[A]ll of our current parking capacity was designed for many more students than we currently have at the university,” said Clark. “Convenient parking appears to be the leading issue today versus parking capacity.”
The current parking allocation was put in place in 2012, when the university was home to 11,400 students. Over the years, the amount of students attending BSU has lessened to just under 10,000 students. There have been previous concerns regarding safety with the placement of the current parking lot and the university is open to working to allow for more convenient parking.
Many concerns were brought up due to lack of parking on the west side of campus.
“We do safety walk-throughs on a regular basis,” said Vice President Karen Jason (She/Her). “We know the campus is well lit, we know we have got out university police.”
Additionally, there are systems on campus to keep people safe in the walk from one side of the campus to another, including the Blue Light system and a video surveillance system that surveys across campus. If people feel uncomfortable walking across campus at night, the university additionally offers the University Transit system.
The university is able to make accommodations for students who may have a parking hardship. The petition states, “If we allow commuters to park in the half-empty staff lots as well … then commuters will be so much closer to the buildings they actually need to be at.”
If a commuter student or any student needs to park closer to their classroom or residential hall, applications for this accommodation can be found on the Parking Services website. This application is then reviewed by the Housing, Meal Plan and Parking Exception Committee which is made up by members of multiple different departments.
In addition to this, there were concerns of how the parking lots were cleared. This petition additionally states, “[R]esidential cars are parked, out in the open, for longer periods of time and are more likely to get covered in feet of snow as demonstrated by the recent storm and disastrous ‘solutions’ causing all residents to move their cars to other, much further lots and get even more covered.”
The bigger practice includes the understanding of both parties of when to move cars and the efficiency of not only moving of cars, but also the efficiency and effectiveness of plowing. “If you noticed, the last storm we had went much smoother,” said Dr. Mark Carmody (He/Him), “The lots were cleared where people could park.”