As I was reading Katelyn Hurd’s article, “A convenient fix provides new parking on East Campus” [News, Feb. 6], I realized a few things. First off, the administration is trying to help with the parking issues on campus, however these issues deal with faculty parking first and foremost.
I understand Vice President for Administration and Finance William Gearhart said, “We didn’t set out to build a parking lot.” There is still much concern for commuters, such as myself, as to where legal parking spaces are available. Why can’t the college follow suit of other nearby colleges, such as Roger Williams University, and create some sort of parking structure? It need only be a three-level structure, and that would alleviate a great deal of searching.
Gearhart also said, “With the number of spaces given the number of students, we are confident we have enough spaces. They just aren’t preferable.” I disagree with Gearhart – there are not enough spaces, or at least none in a legal place. I roam the parking lots and find not only a plethora of horrible parking jobs, but also many illegally parked cars. There are spaces in back of the dorms, but this is the least suitable place to park.
Take into account that the number of students who live and work off campus. According to colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com, 84.5 percent of RIC students live off campus and three to five percent of students on campus utilize Rhode Island public transportation on a regular basis. Therefore, 79 percent of students at least commute to campus. Given an enrollment of about 7,779 students, this leaves 6,144 students commuting to campus in one way or another. The college should have the obligation to alleviate stress for students living and working off campus.
Lastly, if the faculty finds my previous mentioned suggestions too costly, what about adding a shuttle service specifically in the winter? This would not only help in the event of extreme sub-zero temperatures; it would also benefit students parking in the farthest lots from the center of campus by creating a potentially dryer and safer way of getting to class.
Jonathan Kmieciak Mr. Kmieciak is an Anchor layout editor and a commuter at Rhode Island College. His thoughts are his own and do not reflect those of The Anchor.