MCLA Has a Parking Problem That Needs to be Addressed

I’ve been a student at MCLA for two years now. It has become my home away from home, and I love being a student here. I have noticed, however, that there is a flaw in the parking system here. Being someone who now requires her car on campus, I’m more attuned to the parking situation here at school. It makes me realize there are several problems with the system that could use some serious upgrading. This is something I think the school should take seriously considering how many students have a car on campus.

1. The method for getting a pass is through lottery.

The basic system to getting a pass in the first place is sort of hit-or-miss. The applications for the car permits are placed in a lottery and randomly picked. There’s no guarantee your application will be picked. If your application isn’t chosen, you can park on the street, but only until Nov. 1. After that, North Adams has a parking ban where it is illegal to park on the streets from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. This ban is in effect until April. The system to getting a permit should be first come, first served and determined by grades. Having a car is a privilege, not a necessity. If your grades are poor, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a car on campus. And, having it be first come, first served, students understand that privilege and will be rewarded for showing proper planning in advance.

2. A parking permit is expensive.

Even if you are lucky to get a parking permit, it’s expensive to do so. For resident students, it costs $100 for a permit. The commuter pass costs $30. This seems highly unfair, considering how high the bill is to even be at MCLA. Commuters should be paying extra for their parking pass because they don’t have the extra expense of living on campus. Any way to help students with a residency should be made, not adding expenses to us. It is unfair to have us pay so much, while commuters pay so little.

3. There aren’t many lots to park in.

On the subject of commuters, there are way too many commuter lots on the MCLA campus. In front of Hoosac, there is a large parking lot with a smaller one behind it. Guess who the big lot is for: commuters. Every time I walk by the commuter lot, it is never completely full. There is always at least half of the lot empty. MCLA does not have very many commuters. There is no reason to have so much parking for commuter students when a majority of the student population resides on campus. Not only that, but the only other resident parking lots are behind the townhouses and next to Public Safety. This is great… if you live in a townhouse. For someone who lives in Hoosac or Berkshire Towers, the Hoosac lot fills up fast. That means resident students have to trek all the way to the other side of campus just to get to their car. In the winter months, this is especially time consuming when you have to clean off your car and allow the car to warm up. Put the commuters next to public safety and maintenance, and give the commuter lot in front of Hoosac to residents. Or, have commuters park on the street during the day when it’s legal for them to be there.

4. Days like Accepted Students Day make parking a nightmare.

Whenever MCLA has an event, like tours, Accepted Students Day or other visitor events, parking becomes a real hassle. Students are redirected to where they can and cannot park because there is no room for visitors. There need to be more lots dedicated for visitors in order to give them a place to park without inconveniencing the students already living there.

Hopefully these issues will be addressed and fixed in the near future. Only if students speak out and make their voices heard can changes be made to accommodate their needs. We are not paying the school as much as we are simply to be quiet and turn a blind eye. I encourage my fellow students with cars to make queries on fixing the issues listed above. Only then can we set change in motion.