Pacific’s problem with parking
On Sept. 17, 2015, a poll conducted by then Opinion Editor Emily Olson ‘15 hit the stands. Over 460 students responded to the poll regarding the availability of campus parking. Collectively, the responses pointed to one conclusion: Students were dissatisfied. When asked if the Department of Public Safety ever received student complaints about campus parking, Community Service Officer Kosta Panos replied without hesitation: “We get them daily.”
According to Panos, some of the most common complaints center on the price of a parking permit ($25, $100 or $200) and the limited parking options for those who have N permits (allowing one to park almost entirely on North Campus lots for the same cost of a B permit, which allows one to park on North, Central and South Campus).
There are 3,100 estimated number of parking spaces on campus, according to the Department of Public Safety, yet it took most participants (227) 10-20 minutes to find on-campus parking.
Approximately 92 percent of poll participants indicated that they would like better warning (such as an email or access to an online events calendar) for lot closures.
Panos said these mass notifications would need to come from administrative offices better equipped to organize them, and that he has received a lot of resistance in the past. “I would love to notify students… but I’ve always been told that lot closures aren’t equivalent to campus emergencies,” he said.
But when students face parking illegally or arriving late to class — or even missing class completely because of some professors’ strict tardy policies — lot closures should be treated as a serious matter. Panos shared that the Office of Communications is discussing the implementation of a notification system involving social media; The Pacifican hopes this change will be swift-coming. The parking problem has not solved itself yet, as students still scramble to find parking during big school events. Most recently, the U.S. Senate Debate was held here at University of the Pacific. Although emails were sent out well in advance, students still had difficulties attempting to get to class the day of.
Hopefully in the coming years, when the Class of 2016 comes back for their first reunion, they will have a parking structure to park in when they arrive. If that is the case, you’ll be able to hear a collective sigh of relief.
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