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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Go park yourself

The lack of available, close-to-class parking for students causes unnecessary stress and hurts academic performance

It’s 8 a.m. and my roommate wakes me up with a gentle knock on my door. 

“Yo, can you move your car, I gotta get to class,” he says. 

Naturally, I reply with “of course bro” and cartoonishly leap out of bed. The heat isn’t working in my house, and it’s 10 degrees outside. My bedroom has turned into a walk-in freezer. 

With an ear-to-ear grin on my face, along with borderline frostbite on my cheeks, I say to myself, “Good morning Buffalo!”

I move my car for my roommate, chug my morning cup of joe and doom scroll on TikTok until it’s time to leave for class. My earliest class starts at 10 a.m., but I live near South Campus. I’ll have to leave my house at least half an hour early if I want extra time to find parking. 

I jump in my Mazda CX-5 (his name is Saul after Saul Goodman from “Breaking Bad”) and listen to “Down Under” by Men at Work on repeat until I reach North Campus. 

No surprise here, everyone and their mother parked in the Hochstetter B lot this morning. Not to worry — I have half an hour to spare. I pride myself in having contingency plans for obstacles such as a packed parking lot. 

“Thirty minutes must be enough time to find one parking spot,” I tell myself. Oh, how naive I was. 

Ten minutes go by and after driving through each aisle of the lot, I’m still hopeful. My plan is to spot a student in the parking lot and follow them to their car (hopefully without looking creepy). 

Twenty minutes go by, and I’m starting to get nervous. This particular class doesn’t post any lecture slides on UBlearns, and, if I miss even five minutes of class time, I’ll miss out on notes that I can’t review on my own time. So far, I’ve spotted three potential spots, all stolen by a fellow student. 

I can’t blame them. They’re in the same position I am.

After 45 minutes of torment and sweat, I managed to get lucky as a kind student signaled to me that I could take their spot. At this point, I’d missed 15 minutes of lecture that I’ll never be able to get back, with a test on the horizon. 

One could find parking in the Alumni Arena lot, the A and B Cooke lots or the B and C Jacobs lots. But all of these lots are at least a 10-minute walk from any North Campus building (the exception being the Natural Sciences Complex and Cooke Hall).  

In addition to the long walking distance from class buildings, the layout of the parking areas for students is a little confusing. Jacobs lot has three sections: A, B and C: but only the B and C lots are designated for students. This leads to confusion and parking tickets as three lots under the same name can be misleading for newer students. The university should either change the names of each lot section or make the written indication of student/faculty labeling more visible on their respective signs. 

For a school with over 32,000 students, undergrads (approximately 21,000 of that student population) aren’t provided with enough close-to-class parking. UB should either put time limits on parking spots or allow portions of professor lots to be used by students. 

For example, the Hotchstetter A lot is designated for staff and faculty members, but this lot is rarely even half full. If half of that parking lot was open for students, there would be hundreds of available spots for college kids in a time crunch. 

Students pay thousands of dollars a year for an education. Failing to find a close-to-class parking spot shouldn’t be a reason for that money to go to waste. 

Dylan Greco is the opinion editor and can be reached at dylan.greco@ubspectrum.com

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