Editorial: Staff Parking Lots

Comic by Nelson Simmons
Comic by Nelson Simmons

Staff parking lots look oh so tempting, especially if you’re running a tad late, and even if you’re on time. Where else are you going to find so many vacant spots during peak school hours? The short answer is: you’re not.

It seems to be the case that Pierce College has more staff parking than it has actual staff. If they took the time, anyone could see students circling the parking lots several times in hopes of finding a spot, which might not even be remotely close to their respective classes.

Another parking lot is a great, but naive suggestion. If building an additional lot just isn’t feasible, why not elevate and build a second or third level on the existing Parking Lot 1 since it’s the closest to the largest number of classrooms?

Now, that’s a long-term solution to a problem that students are at their wit’s end with. In the meantime, why not allow students access to the parking spaces that aren’t being utilized? Give students access to staff parking lots.

As it turns out, a parking space that is in direct sunlight, has cars on either side making for a tight fit, and is all the way across campus, is still better than no spot at all. A student who is on campus from noon till the sun sets knows the value of a parking space, regardless of where it is.

All the while, staff members skip the virtually endless stream of cars filled with students who need to find a spot, and proceed to pass the threshold that reads “STAFF PARKING ONLY” to enter that nice shady spot they favor.

Some staff members have the luxury to literally have a parking space right next to their classroom, and yet instructors still find ways to be late. When they finally arrive, they are greeted by their class surrounding the building, and off in the distance, are students who are running towards the crowd surprised because they thought class had already started.

Why should students pay for parking passes, when a space isn’t guaranteed? These are the fundamentals of higher education. How can students be expected to achieve academic success when they’re still circling the lot?

How can a commuter college like Pierce, with more than 20,000 enrolled students, dismiss the horrendous parking situation, or try to explain it away by blaming the start of a new semester when it is a well known fact that people struggle to find parking?