Faculty feels the struggle of trying to find parking.

Students, you aren't alone-faculty share their parking horror stories

Brittany Allen

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As it turns out, faculty members have issues with parking too. In fact, faculty parking issues can cause more severe problems than a tardy.

Teresa Sloan, a professor in the aviation department and critic of Central’s parking, has had more than her fair share of parking horror stories.

“Last spring, I taught an 8 a.m. class at the airport facility and then needed to get to my office in Black Hall between 9:15 and 9:30,” Sloan said. “By that time, there were no parking spaces available in the faculty parking lot.”

The full lots caused Sloan to get stuck parking far away with limited time.

“I, one time, had to park near the music building then run while carrying book bags filled with student work to get to Black Hall on time,” Sloan said. “The following morning, I woke up at 4 a.m. with severe pain in my left arm. After spending a day at the hospital, it was determined that I had bursitis in my left shoulder from packing book bags from my car.”

While students seem to be the loudest voices in complaining about Central’s parking fiasco, faculty are speaking up too. Sloan mentioned in a Faculty Senate meeting on Feb. 3 that parking is an issue for faculty members and students in the aviation department.

“Due to construction, CWU has lost some parking space,” Sloan said. “While I do not have the actual numbers of students enrolled at the CWU campus, I believe this number has been increasing at the same time the number of available parking spaces has been decreasing.”

When Sloan talked to Parking Services about this, she said she was told to get a handicap parking permit and to get a cart to hold her books instead of carrying them. Sloan did purchase a cart to carry her books, but the wheel broke off due to the lack of ramps available on campus.

Students and faculty members alike are both late for classes on campus because of how classes are scheduled and the added stress of attempting to find a parking spot.

Shari Foster, professor in the English department, recognizes that although faculty members have issues with parking, students have more issues.

Foster brought up the fact that when students are late to class due to lack of parking they are reprimanded for being late, whereas when faculty members are late to class due to parking, they are not reprimanded because they hold the authority in the classroom.

Foster also mentioned that she runs into the same issue as students with parking on campus: the sheer lack of parking.

“There should be designated parking for electric cars,” she said. Foster also said that there should be an overall increase in faculty and student parking.

Sloan said she talked to Parking Services and asked if they could install more pathways and ramps for professors with carts. Parking Services said that they would consider it, but Sloan said “it never happened.”

“While I agree with this principle, students usually aren’t packing materials for multiple people in several classes,” she said. “While a tardy student is one thing, an instructor who is unable to make it to class due to parking issues inconveniences more than just the instructor.”

Central’s Facilities Management department is currently in the process of revising the Campus Master Plan, which includes making revisions to parking on campus. Facilities Management has said it is not just looking into increasing the number of parking spots, but also changing the permits and usage of the lots to better suit student and faculty needs.

Providing specific feedback and suggestions is key to the university’s ability to eliminate parking issues around campus. This feedback can be provided at www.cwu.edu/interactive-map or by tweeting @CWUfacilities.