The Parking Privilege on Campus

Sometimes I feel like parking at FAU is a privilege, not a right. Maybe it’s just me, but somehow I feel I’m not alone.

Here’s my everyday scenario; I roll out of bed half an hour earlier than I need to, anticipating whether I’ll make it to class on time today depending on if I find a parking spot. I shower, dress, and do the other morning routines we all must do, yet hate. It’s now half an hour before my first class begins.

Granted I live in the student apartments, I don’t really need to drive over to my classes and park. Yet, I cannot see myself crossing a street congested with students on a rampage to get their dibs at a parking spot when I am half awake.

I drive over to the rear of the school, hoping that today is my lucky day. Forget parking by Indian River Towers or anywhere in the front of school. Those parking lots are filled to capacity by 9 a.m., it seems like.

I drive down the student lot, following a police officer. I’m getting impatient, realizing I now have only fifteen minutes until my class starts.

Out of nowhere, I spot an empty white spot up ahead! That is, until the police officer makes a left and parks right in it. That just made my morning. He could have parked on the grass or on the roof of a building if he wanted to and get away with it because he’s a cop. But no, he chose the spot that I, a poor desperate student who just wants to make it to class on time, needed.

I circled back around and headed through the faculty parking area, a little steamed. A man in a golf cart motions for me to stop and I do, rolling down my window. He winks at me and almost jokingly asks, “Are you faculty, honey?” Utterly disgusted, I simply decide that I will be late to class today and park all the way across campus by the gym. This happens to me too much. I know I’m a resident and I could, in essence, walk to class. But if I, as a resident, leave early and can’t find parking in my own backyard, how on earth will a commuter who lives 45 minutes away be able to find one? This is where I feel a sense of irony; that parking here is a privilege, not a right. But, shouldn’t every student be able to park conveniently to make it to his or her classes on time? I think so.

Being able to leave your car to go to class seems like a normal right to me. It baffles me at the amount of faculty spots available, when the student to faculty ratio is most definitely higher. I also think that there shouldn’t be specific lots for commuters or residents.

A student is a student, who needs to go to school and know their car is legally parked. I know I’m not the only student who feels this way and we can only hope parking conditions improve. Until then, see you in the parking lot.