Editorial: New construction halts the lives of students

Photo by C. Quintana via Flickr


Florida International University is a place full of traditions and stories that have been passed down to every class since the 1960’s. One that has stood the test of time, unfortunately, is the parking situation that has affected the university for years.

Being that this school is 50,000 students strong, making it the 5th largest university in the country, you would think these circumstances would change over time. The administration has of course taken measures to fix this as we’ve seen with these brand new parking garages that are built throughout the years.

Recently, there has been a shift and a possible backtracking when it came to the progress we all hoped to see. Lot 3 has been closed off since Monday, Nov. 10 to start breaking ground for the newest addition to campus, the Student Academic Support Center. This building will be housing different departments such as admissions, student orientation, advising, registration along with student financial and career services office. Overall, the placement could not be any better since it would be a five minute walk from major university areas like the Graham Center and the Academic Health buildings allowing quick access to students that need it.

However, the students that will benefit from this new center are ones that won’t be admitted for at least another one or two years. We’re shocked to see the lot get closed down with little to no warning other than a memo sent out to the student body a few days prior. The problem is not that the administration is seeking to expand our institution, but rather that there are usually no alternatives provided to students to combat the current problem.

The current class and the entire next class will have to face these issues without reaping the benefits of any newly constructed buildings. If anything, they are feeling the collateral damage. Trams have been put in place to help transport students from the slightly farther Lot 5 as a way to help the transition go by smoother but it takes away from the convenience of parking twenty feet away.

Now, there is no way to speed up such a complex expansion process but it is the responsibility of the university to give students a practical amount of space to replace what was lost. The closure results in the elimination of 167 spots in front of the FIU Bookstore and pushes metered parking into the south section of the lot.

The addition of Garage 6 and 2,000 fresh spots seems to be the solution we’ve been waiting for but then it begs the question on whether or not this is going to be a long term solution for the students who are here now.

Parking lots cannot be built overnight but when we are feeling the negative effects of expansion now, is there really much hope to prevent these problems for future construction projects? Time will tell but for now, we wait to find parking spots for an hour or so every day.

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