ASST. OPINIONS EDITOR
Whittier College is a school of student concerns: the state of the school’s buildings and grounds such as internet capability, seasonal flooding, and accessibility of buildings has constantly been critiqued. But for years, Whittier College’s parking has topped the list of student complaints. Ask most students — or really any commuter — and they will share a story of the battle that occurs every morning to find parking in order to make it to class on time. An academic institution’s responsibility is to educate its students in order to prepare them for their professional lives. If an institution’s infrastructure cannot facilitate the quality of learning that it promises, what value is the education you receive?
When parking is so scarce, students find themselves unable to get to class on time. Missing the beginning of class can be a critical hit to students’ academic experiences, including information for exams, due dates, turning in assignments, and general orientation for the course agenda. Often, the most convenient lots fill up first, leaving the farthest lots as the only options available. “Sometimes I have to park at the church lot past Olive Street, which adds 10 minutes just walking to class. I’ve even tried bringing a skateboard or something to speed up getting to class,” an anonymous second-year student said. “I already wake up early to get homework done, and I don’t have time to get to school earlier.” For first-year commuters, this is a daily reality. Their parking options only include the Stadium or Canyon lot: the two lots furthest from campus. “Parking is packed by 9 a.m. and I don’t have class until 11 a.m. It’s a hassle to have to rearrange your days when we pay so much for school,” said an anonymous fourth-year student. This comment about the cost of our education in contrast with the quality of amenities is a common one.
At the time of graduation, Whittier College students will have gained a liberal arts education that will prepare them for their own professional path, but how many of those minutes did they lose out on because of parking unavailability?