Washburn needs to take parking situation seriously

As a resident of Washburn Village, I feel I must take exception with vice president of administration and treasurer Rick Anderson’s comments in the Sept. 21, 2011, issue of the Washburn Review. Contrary to Anderson’s statements, it is not easy to find a parking space near the Village.

I recently walked, as I often do, from the Village to the Memorial Union at around 10 a.m. During this walk, I paid particular attention to the number of parking spaces that were visible in Lots 7, 9, 10 and 11. At the most, I saw two or possibly three open parking spaces during my walk. I also saw several cars (more than the number of spaces available) slowly snaking their way through the parking lots in search of Anderson’s mythical empty space. I have also frequently observed  students parking on the side streets along MacVicar Ave. between 21st Street and 17th Street.

As a resident of Washburn Village, this situation has presented me with an interesting problem. On Fridays, when I don’t have class, I frequently find myself trapped on campus, due to the fact that I would be sacrificing my valuable parking space and might not be able to find a reasonable parking spot upon my return. A quart of ice cream could melt as I slowly weave my way through the parking lots looking for a vacancy.

Walking across campus to attend class is one thing. Walking across campus carrying an arm-full of groceries is a whole other ball game. The parking lot situation also negates one of the attractive features about living at Washburn Village, namely the advantage of not needing to worry about finding a parking space in the first place.

One thing that I would definitely like to see is a specific designated parking area for students who live on campus. We pay to live here, so it would be nice if we could have a parking lot to call our own.

I recognize that Anderson is fairly new to his position at Washburn, having only held the Vice President of Administration and Treasurer job since November, 2010, so maybe he isn’t quite familiar with the concept of what it means to be an Ichabod. One of the things that makes Washburn unique, and the primary reason why I chose to attend this university in particular, is that it has the feeling of a small community, rather than just being another mega-sized university.

I was personally offended by Anderson’s insinuation that Washburn students are “lazy.” It isn’t a matter of walking across campus… I do it everyday. It is, however, about students being able to find safe and secure places to park in the general vicinity of campus. I understand that Anderson’s position here is more “bean counter” than academian, but his attitude toward the students of Washburn frankly concerns me.

The parking situation at Washburn is not going to go away. And as we look at record-setting enrollment this year and a future filled with expansion, it is vital for this university to address its students’ needs.