Parking wasn’t meant to be obscene

Susannah Schrader

As I sat in my car screaming obscenities at nothing and no one in particular at 9 in  the morning on August 22, I was struck by the realization that I was now officially a Missouri Southern student. Though I had begun my time at Southern the semester before, I had never dealt with this before, this evil, frustrating, godforsaken thing that each and every commuter student at Southern must deal with: the parking situation on campus.

Last semester, I had had no issues whatsoever finding a decent parking spot in the “pit,” or the two parking lots directly next to Newman Road. When a freshman friend texted me the night before the first day to ask if she’d be able to park there before her 9 o’clock class, I told her that she would have no issues whatsoever.

“Are you sure?” she asked. “They told us it would be completely full by then.”

I chuckled to myself. Oh, freshmen and their silly worries. An experienced college student, I could put those worries to bed.

“No chance,” I told her. “You’ll be fine.”

So naturally I felt like a bit of a heel while I sat in my car in the pit at a complete standstill as people tried to get in and out. Luckily, she was smart and she’d arrived early. Me? Not so much.

But truthfully, we commuter students shouldn’t have to arrive half an hour to an hour early just to secure a decent parking space. We avoided those 8 am classes for a reason: we don’t want to be here at 8 am. I, for one, refuse to haul myself out of bed an hour early to come sit and stare at nothing in the parking lot, thinking of nothing but how much I really don’t want to go to physics.

There are other places on campus to park that typically don’t fill up, but those parking spaces are way out of the way of most people’s classes. I usually park down by the soccer fields because I know I can get a space, but then I have to hightail across campus to Plaster for my first class. My choices are either be sweaty, or be late. Most of the time, I’m both. 

I know that parking has been a complaint from commuter students since Southern became a four-year university, but honestly, it’s time to do something about it. Enrollment is up, and the school needs to compensate for that by providing us some extra parking spaces. After all, though Southern is an extremely affordable option, we still pay a nice chunk of change to go there. I, for one, would prefer to be able to get to the classes I’m paying for on time. 

At the very least, they can stop giving us tickets for having one car wheel in the grass or some similar tiny parking offense. Oftentimes we have no choice but to park next to the jerk in the truck who’s over the line, and we have to move ourselves over a bit to compensate. Cut us a break. 

Parking isn’t a typically interesting subject, but it’s one that I know a lot of Southern students are pretty passionate (or at least angry) about. So come on, Southern: help us out here. We’re trying to be good students and show up on time, but you’re making it really hard. 

Figure something out. We shouldn’t have to wait for people to start dropping or skipping classes to get a decent parking space. If you need some time to figure out a solution, I’ll wait. You can find me sitting at a standstill in the pit at 9:03 a.m., shouting obscenities and tearing my hair out.