By Claudia Cornelison, Class of 2018
It has everyone, upperclassmen and freshmen alike, griping all over social media. I have only been at Furman for two weeks and have already fallen victim to it. Let’s talk about parking at Furman. The confusing and unreasonable parking regulations that are heavily enforced across campus gives the impression that those making and enforcing the parking regulations have not considered the implications of their decisions.
One of the greatest threats the current parking system poses to students is safety. Take, for example, an un-unique incident that happened to my friends and me as we got together to have a late night study session: A little after 1:00a.m., as our study group was coming to an end, one of the members, a North Village resident, requested that I drive her back to her apartment. In light of the recent sexual assault on campus, I obliged. I returned to a full parking lot and, conscious of my last citation, I apprehensively drove to the chapel lot only to find that parking directions were far from clear. The walk back to Soho was poorly lit, and henceforth, utterly terrifying.
Many can relate to my experience, I am sure. It is happening much too frequently across campus, and students are being forced to pay fines to park in safer and more logical places. Freshmen Emily Harris describes it as being, “inconvenient to an annoying degree.” This is the sentiment of many, but it does not have to end as a regrettable part of our Furman experience. There is always potential for change.
Some argue that because cars are not a necessity, change is uncalled for. The former is true, but when the university provides very little opportunity to get off campus otherwise and students require transportation for off-campus jobs, religious services and shopping, there is little to resort to than personal transportation.
While Furman does provide a safe-ride service, it operates only from 6:00p.m. until 1:00a.m. leaving students like myself essentially stranded during late night study sessions.
A 24-hour shuttle service would definitely help, but there is a much easier and obvious solution: add more parking spaces. There are plenty of underused lots that can easily be transformed into parking space for residents. With closer parking spaces, students will enjoy an increased sense of security and terminate the need to park in unassigned lots.
With this proposal in mind, I encourage students to take action. There is much more that can be done than simply complaining via Yik Yak or other social medium. It is time for Furman students step into roles of leadership.
So what exactly can be done? It is best to begin with awareness. If you get a citation due the confusing and unfair nature of parking rules, appeal it. Respectfully complain to those in charge instead of whining behind their backs. Address FUPO at their annual student interaction event. Get involved in SGA. With the cooperation of the staff and the passion of the students, change becomes a definite possibility. After all, it is our school. It is our time to stand up and stand out.