Poet parking causes students a Lot of trouble

Poet parking causes students a Lot of trouble

Ceci Carmichael

In response to widespread frustration over Whittier College’s campus parking among students, faculty, and staff alike, Whittier has established a new parking plan. 

Vice President and Dean of Students Joel Pérez had fielded many concerns about the problem last year. “One of the biggest concerns was that sometimes people had to travel to four or five lots before finding a spot.” said Pérez. Pérez worked with a committee of faculty members the Parking Committee and after reviewing comments and complaints, decided to change the parking plan.

The new parking program was implemented over the summer. During this time, the committee met in order to fix some of the flaws of old regulations. 

“During the course of last year, there were enough questions as to the parking plan’s effectiveness that the College believed it was necessary to reassess the plan,” said Pérez. After reviewing comments and complaints, Pérez worked with a faculty committee, called the Parking Committee, to change the parking plan.              

The main difference between the new parking plan and the parking rules from past years is that lots around campus are now designated into three different categories: resident, commuter, and faculty/staff. This is meant to reduce frustration and increase the likelihood that you will find a spot in the first lot you check. 

Full-time faculty/staff can park at Mendenhall, the Shannon Center, Platner, the Science & Learning Center, and College Hall lots. “It’s nice that faculty have designated spots now because they definitely needed them, but commuters and residents need more spots since there are more students this year than there were in previous years,” fourth-year Ruben Sanchez said. 

Part-time faculty/staff can only park at the Methodist Church. Katelyn Zempel, a new professor, compares her parking experience to when she worked at UCLA, “It is not as bad as at UCLA, but it is hard to remember what parking lots I am able to park in. I don’t want to park in the wrong one in case I get a ticket,” Zempel said. 

Residential students can all park at the Athletic Center, Founders Hill, Harris/Turner, Haverhill, and Wanberg Hall lots. “We need more residential parking. It’s hard to find any if we leave campus at all during the day,” said second-year resident Samantha Casanas. Returning commuter students can park at the Amphitheater, Canyon Drive, Campus Inn, Music North, and Music South lots. First-year commuters must park at the Stadium and Canyon, and they must remove their cars by 5 p.m. in order to lock up the lots, which is a problem for students who stay on campus for extracurriculars. After business hours and on weekends, cars can park in any lot on campus except for those designated as reserved 24 hours. 

Many students are not happy with the changes that have been made. “Parking on campus is just so difficult now,” said second-year commuter Tyler Putnam.

“I don’t have many problems with parking,” said fouth-year commuter Oscar Nava. “However, I think it’s nice that all the signs say when the parking rules are enforced. The details makes it less difficult to park.” Rebecca Barber, a second-year commuter, said, “I have no problem with the parking situation. I come to school early enough to not have to really look for parking.”

A more permanent solution to the parking dilemma is to build a parking structure in the Harris Amphitheater parking lot. However, Board of Trustee member Alan Lund said in a recent meeting, “The parking situation is complicated because, to open up more spots, we have to close a lot down. So we have to consider, is it something we can finish during the summer? If not, it creates even more problems.”

 In addition to designated lots, the plan requires everyone register or re-register their cars in order to get more accurate counts when determining how many spots should be allocated. As of Sep. 18, any car without proper stickers will receive a ticket from Campus Safety.

Any further questions and/or suggestions to improve parking on campus can be emailed to parking@whittier.edu.