The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Daily Campus takes on parking

Age-old question should finally be answered
Rebecca Hanna/The Daily Campus

(Rebecca Hanna/The Daily Campus)

Numerous students have been complaining about it for a long time. While it may seem as though The Daily Campus is now attacking a beaten subject, we feel that the campus-wide hubbub is still persisting and that it finally deserves a solution. What is this problem? Parking, of course.

In areas surrounding residential halls, half of the parking spots are dedicated to faculty members. This is particularly the case in the North Quad.

Meanwhile, there are parking lots for faculty and staff within a short distance—specifically in front of Umphrey Lee and the side of Meadows. In these faculty lots, as well as the one right in front of Dedman Science, it is extremely rare that more than half the lot is filled at any given time.

This leads us to ask: Given the ample amount of faculty parking, why take resident spots so close to dorms away from students?

Because faculty fills these spots, students have to park far away, walking across campus just to get home. It is worthwhile to remark: This is the primary place of residence for the students we are referring to.

As Giddy Up doesn’t always answer their phones and isn’t convenient unless you are prepared to wait twenty minutes for a ride, residents then make this walk late at night. Students wandering around in the dark is not something that the university should want.   While there is a deceivingly safe feeling at SMU, it is an open campus that permits entrance to any person in the ninth largest city in the U.S.

But residents aren’t the only ones who have concerns when it comes to parking. If this were the case, cars probably wouldn’t be seen down side streets, circling up and down Airline parking garage and finally just illegally parking so that they can make it to class on time.

Some commuting residents have found ways around this.

They often go to the parking garage 30 minutes early—that way, in case one is full, they can venture to another, farther location. Others have a different method: telling little white lies.

When purchasing parking stickers for these inconvenient parking locations, Park n’ Pony doesn’t ask students for proof of residency on campus. Sure, students are warned from the text of the website after hitting the submit button for a pass, but standing in line at the Park n’ Pony in August, plenty of students could be heard replying to staff behind the desk, “Yeah, I live in a sorority house.” This is their proof. So do students go ahead and apply for a resident sticker and lie when picking it up? You bet.

Because Park n’ Pony doesn’t actually ask for proof, there are dozens of commuter students that drive to campus and park in resident-only spots because of their all-to-convenient resident parking sticker.

Again, this is to the detriment of those students, mostly first-years, who do actually reside on campus.

Game days are ridiculous for commuter students. To go support our own Mustangs, we must plan not just what we are going to wear or with whom we will Boulevard, but where to park, taking into account drastic changes in ordinary parking regulations.

Even in doing so, dedicated students who are also football fans may be parking as far as Airline garage, or even on side streets in Highland Park or University Park (legally or illegally).

Residents who were forced to move their cars out of every other spot on campus and stick them in the two areas left to them have already filled most of the student parking. Thus, when commuters roll onto campus to cheer on our Mustangs, they are often left wandering around Airline playing Tetris with their cars just to beat the next poor sucker to the very last empty spot.

This awkward routine followed by the long walk to the football stadium makes the $250 price tag of our parking sticker seem just slightly absurd.

As SMU already has trouble getting its student section of the football stadium filled, parking should be the last thing that makes a student think, “Yeah, I’d rather not go to the game.” Such a slight negative incentive may have unnecessary effects.

We feel as though the best solution for this would be to open up another garage for students, and encourage visitors to park in lots off campus so they can be bussed in. Less than convenient? Maybe. But hey, SMU students should be the football fans we’re concerned about.

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