Samreen: Another day competing for a parking spot

A full Parking Lot B on a rainy Monday afternoon. - Contributor / Khansa Samreen

I arrived at the campus around 10 a.m., still trying to wake up, only to find out I was competing in a new sport with other fellow drivers, to score a parking spot. The competition was tough and impossible at first because there was no free spot anywhere. Getting frustrated and losing hope after 15 minutes of driving around aimlessly, from Parking Lot B to Parking Lot O, I saw some cars going to the Richard Wackar Stadium lot. I followed them and, to my surprise, It was full too. I then kept driving behind the stadium parking lot and luckily, I finally scored a limited edition spot that a friendly truck driver left. 

Just as I got out of my car, grateful and pissed at the same time, I realized I would have to walk for at least twenty minutes to 260 Victoria, and would almost certainly be late for my class. Now, even more pissed, I quickly speed-walked to my class. One could say to park at the Rowan Boulevard or Mick Drive garage but hey, I paid $140 for the parking permit placed on my car and I’m definitely not paying extra since I’ll be at North Campus for more than 4 hours until my next class. They’ll start charging if I leave my car there for more than 2 hours. Most of us don’t have extra money just lying around.

By the time I get to class, I’ve already missed half of the lecture and the professor just stares at me like I had two heads. The professor continues his lecture while I’m sitting there, lost on what we’re supposed to do. After class, I tried explaining to the professor why I was late and how I live an hour away but he didn’t want to hear it. In fact, he said he lives two hours away and gave me a look that I was making an excuse. He then marked me for the third time tardy (And can you guess why there were two before?) which then made one absence. The absurd, painstaking process of finding a parking spot is now directly affecting my studies. 

Sure, I could just get to campus earlier, but that’s far easier said than done — there are other priorities in life besides school. Staying up late to get homework done is a frequent occurrence for many of us, others have jobs and family responsibilities, and we also need to get a decent amount of sleep in order to function. The least we could ask for is for professors to understand these circumstances. It’s not like the University is any more understanding about the parking situation.

The parking situation has always been bad, especially for us commuters, and we really don’t need the added stress. Should it be necessary for me to spend more money on the privilege of parking in a garage? It’s great that Rowan is making new buildings, especially the 30-million-dollar student center expansion, but more parking should obviously be next on the list.

This is a repeating situation and that’s why pretty much every semester, someone has to write an article on this issue to get the attention of the University. I don’t know if we’ll ever get that, I’d be surprised if we got anything more than empty words from the people who can solve this issue. In the meantime, let me prepare for yet another parking competition.

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