By Isabella Trudeau ’17
A couple of weeks ago, I was struggling to find a parking space. It was 10:46 a.m. and I had class at 11a.m. As the time approached to 10:56 a.m., I wasn’t sure what to do. I had been late numerous times due to lack of parking, but I also didn’t want to jeopardize getting a ticket. Finally, a minute before my class was starting, I parked next to the hockey rink. I wasn’t blocking anyone and I was off to the side (although it wasn’t technically a marked spot). I went to class and to little surprise, I spotted the orange parking sticker on the side of my window and the parking ticket on my windshield. It was disappointing to walk back and find out I received a ticket, but it was a feeling I had experienced numerous times.
Police officers and others could say I should have parked near the apartments, in parking lot J, or maybe even in the little lot next to Monican. Although I have made the hike from the apartments to my classes many times, I was sick of it. I am paying $50,000 to attend this school every year, on top of a $300 “unguaranteed” parking decal to park on campus. I am spending that much money for classes and a parking decal, so the least I expect is guaranteed parking. I understand there is limited room, but investing long-term in a parking garage may be in the school’s best interest. It’s wrong to make students walk 10 to 15 minutes to and from their cars while they pay $300 for a parking decal. For that, I would rather not get the decal and take my chances of getting a ticket, considering in both instances I’m not guaranteed a space. For over $50,000, I should be airlifted to the roof of the academic buildings and be carried all the way into my seat.
I went around campus to get some feedback from others who have expressed concern over Merrimack’s parking issue. I chose to leave names out of quotes due to a truthful response. Here’s what I heard.
“I’ve missed at least 2 classes this semester just on parking issues alone.”
(Senior, Sports Medicine)
“I think it’s ridiculous that we spend all this money to go here and constantly have to fight for a parking space”. (Junior, Criminal Justice)
“There are only 3,000 students at Merrimack and it’s a private school, yet public colleges with more students and a lower tuition have guaranteed parking, as well as parking garages.”
“I waste more gas looking for parking than I do driving to school.”
We shouldn’t have to pay for parking decals or walk 15 minutes to school to park on campus. I will continue to park where I want, which is why I am not paying my parking ticket.