By Heather Monahan
Features Assignmnet Editor
There’s no doubt St. Bonaventure is a small school compared to others. However, Bonaventure takes the small size a bit too seriously. For example, the absolute mess that is student parking.
I’ll start with the ridiculousness of designated parking. When I was a freshman, the lot near the tennis courts was the only area in which freshmen could park. The lot directly behind Shay-Lo was reserved exclusively for upperclassmen.
While this isn’t a huge deal, it was pretty annoying as a sophomore to realize that the privilege of closer parking was taken away. Students in my class had to suffer through a year of trekking across campus from the furthest parking lot available only to have the closer parking spots taken up by freshmen who would only use their car for their monthly trip to Wal-Mart.
This year, I live in a townhouse and thankfully get parking directly outside my apartment. With the weather being the way it has been the last few months, it’s nice to be able to have access to my car without having to walk halfway across campus.
This isn’t to say I have no problem with parking anymore. Again, with the weather behaving in typical Western New York fashion, the thought of walking to class in the morning makes me cold. I have neither the patience nor the footwear to trek through the snow at 8 a.m. to get to class on time.
But lately, I’ve seriously considered just sucking it up and taking the walk because it would actually be less painful than trying to find a parking spot anywhere remotely near the academic buildings.
The five-minute drive to class is ranked high on the list of things that can quickly ruin my day. I like to think finding a parking spot before class is about as close to the Hunger Games as I’ll ever get. The experience never fails to give me a headache and spike my frustration.
More often than not, I get to the Plassmann parking lot only to find every single spot filled. About a month into driving to classes, I learned to just go to the farther lots because there’s really no point in trying to get a closer spot.
What boils my blood even more is seeing the countless empty spots reserved for faculty and staff. I’m not saying professors shouldn’t get close parking spots, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen every faculty parking spot full. I don’t understand why they can’t take at least one or two in each row and turn them into student parking spots.
While these few things give me daily headaches, nothing is more frustrating than trying to find a parking spot on a day where there’s a basketball game — weekdays, specifically. Even though this season is over, I’m already feeling dread wash over me in anticipation of next season.
For students with night classes or commitments, this has to be one of the most obnoxious situations ever. I would rather be subjected to jury duty than try to find a parking spot on game day.
I’m not saying it’s not great to have such a high rate of attendance for our basketball games. I do think a school that prides itself on the basketball program needs to take into account the turnout they’re going to get at games and realize that they still have hundreds of students who need to have parking available.
Why doesn’t Bonaventure follow other schools that host high-attendance athletic events and build a new parking lot specifically designated for visitors? With the new athletic fields coming soon, chances are even more sporting events will start gaining more attendance. Some schools even offer shuttles to transport spectators to and from an arena.
Whether it be adding new parking lots on campus or designating a higher amount of parking spots for students, it’s clear something needs to be done about the monstrosity that this school calls parking.