Elise Gregg | Editor-in-Chief
Parking at FIU is a nightmare.
It’s annoying going through constantly crowded lots, the confusing 30-minute parking spots for residents and the long walks across campus after driving around the entire place, with its various construction projects, to find a spot are annoying at best.
I’m not saying anything new, since this parking fiasco is affecting many students, faculty and staff. If I walked around FIU and listened in on people’s conversations, at least one person will complain about parking.
But beyond irritating, there is something uniquely unfair about the parking situation at our university.
Every time there’s an event at the stadium, I have to move.
I do enjoy a good walk to my car and a mini-drive around MMC. Anything to procrastinate. But the way FIU handles event parking is ridiculous.
Whenever people outside the FIU community attend events, I’m guaranteed an email by Parking and Transportation gently threatening me. Either move my car or have it towed, including a relocation fee of $65.
Mind you, I’m being forced out of a spot I pay for with my student parking permit — about $100 per academic year.
I had an interesting scare earlier this semester. I was sick in my dorm with a nasty cold, so bad I couldn’t get out of bed.
Obviously, driving around was not on my mind. Neither was checking my email, the only way in which Parking and Transportation communicates with students.
So, when I felt slightly better and checked my email, you can imagine the panic I felt seeing a message from the day before telling me to move my car.
When I called to ask if my car was conveniently relocated for the low, low price of $65, they told me it, blessedly, hadn’t. The parking gods had changed their minds since they sent the email out at the last minute.
While I was relieved to hear that, it’s crazy a last-minute email was sent out at all. I asked what I’m supposed to do next time. What if I wasn’t on campus or as in that case, was sick and couldn’t move my car?
Their suggestion was to get a friend to do so. My suggestion, don’t send out last-minute emails.
Beyond disorganization, it shows where FIU’s priorities are. I’m generally asked to move my car out of the parking lot by the football stadium. While I understand people park there for events like Miami FC soccer games, it’s the closest one to the dorms.
As someone who’s often out late, like many other residents, it’s not safe to park far from my dorm and later walk miles to get back to my dorm.
Sure, I could park in the Parkview garage, but I’d really like to hang onto that roughly $100 for groceries. General parking at FIU is already expensive enough.
Interestingly, there are plenty of proposed solutions to fix this problem. Providing more spaces and investing in public transportation, to start, are all great ideas. Already, residents from Tamiami hall could benefit from more spaces and, in turn, reduce problems.
In this case, though, it’s simple.
Don’t ask students to move from the spaces they’ve paid for just for event-goers. Even blocking off certain lots ahead of time, like Lot 5 for the Youth Fair, is fine because we at least get that advanced notice and can plan ahead.
Asking students only a day before – or in some cases, mere hours – is disruptive, potentially unsafe for walking around at night and unfair when we’ve paid good money for those spots.
We live, work and go to school here – that takes precedence over the occasional soccer game.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.