Monday, January 08, 2007

Parking - Losing More Enrollment in C-Lot 2of3

Losing Enrollment in C-Lot

part 2 of 3 (Full article is at University Business)
for Part 1 click here

We did the find the place, which was set off with a weather-beaten wooden sign and painted letters that had once been bright-white but were now faded and hard-to-read against a brown background. It was like a neglected drive-in movie sign from years ago.

We drove up the entry road and looked for posted signs telling us where visitors could park. We didn't find any. There were numerous signs like "A Lot--Faculty and Staff only--Sticker required--Tow Zone" and "B Lot--Faculty and Staff only--Sticker required-- Tow Zone". And my favorite "D Lot-- Parking for Senior Administrators ONLY-- Sticker required-- Tow Zone". It's nice that they helped out the elderly administrators. AARP would be really proud. This was particularly considerate since this small lot was right beside the main administration building where I supposed most of the senior administrators worked. Though there was not a noticeable wheel chair ramp, though, for those who might need one. This building also was where the Welcome Center for potential students was located.

We finally did what I suppose many visiting students do at the college--we asked another student where we could park. We were told there was a student and visitor lot just a little ways down the road. Oddly enough, it was a huge lot that was rather filled up so it was hard to find a spot to park at 9:10 in the morning. There were six marked visitor spots but they were filled already by what I supposed were students just visiting a class or two since these cars had active parking stickers.

We then hiked in from Lot C, which oddly enough was the one furthest away from the campus entrance. A, B. and D were closest to the buildings. I suppose Lot C was placed furthest away to encourage good health and exercise habits for the students. But then, why were the employee lots so close to the buildings? I would have thought that they would be further out to encourage walking for health for these those on the payroll. After all mounting medical insurance costs might be lowered if they were healthier.

I later learned that health, physical health, was not the issue. Political health was. The college's leadership did not want to take on the faculty and staff over parking. As we all know parking closest to the building is a God-given faculty and administrative right even if one is an atheist, or a student paying thousands of dollars for tuition and fees, and another thousand for books and supplies.

This upset me. Not that I had to walk, but that I had to walk because I might be a student.

Granted, in our society walking is considered work. And most people would be happiest if their office was a sort of a garage so they could drive right up to their desk and never have their walking or running shoes touch the ground for more than a step or two. That includes students.

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