I can’t find a parking spot…

Alex Weiss/Sports Editor/aweiss@mail.smcvt.edu

And neither can you. 

   This parking situation is bad, really bad.

   If you live in a suite or the 200s townhouses, you understand this.

   With no more Ross-Tarrant specific passes, everyone can park anywhere and this has led to an array of problems.

   Many say that a vital aspect of the college experience is being broke, and unfortunately, I fall into this category. I work late shifts after class, and often clock-out around 9:00 p.m.

   I come home tired and ready to eat dinner. I curl around Cumberland Farms, and take a left by Conogue Hall where- to no surprise- there are no spots in the immediate area.

   After a ten-minute joyride around the suites and townhouses, I can’t find any open spots. I even take a second spin just to see if anything opened up, but nothing did.

   This horror story continues with a full parking lot in Dion and Alliot. I finally park by the tennis courts in front of Alumni.

   I live in the suites near Cumberland Farms, so this exhausting walk was not appreciated. 

   This has happened on multiple occasions. One of my roommates recently had to walk all the way from Ross-Tarrant in the pouring rain at 11:00 p.m.

   Why is this happening? Why can’t we find parking spots anymore?

   I called Public Safety to find an answer.

   This is what a member of switchboard had to say:     

   “There is a huge misconception on the idea that we oversold. It’s just that if there is no parking on the main campus, then you have to park at Ross-Tarrant.”

   This person clarified that the only Ross-Tarrant specific passes are for the new groups of people living on campus, ie., the Junior Hockey team and University of Vermont graduate students.

   They said there was more to this decision than most think. 

   “We had students complain last year about ticketing,” they said. “It had nothing to do with money, and if you think about it, this would actually mean less ticketing for the students.”

   After I explained my roommate’s recent sitation, the switchboard member said, “Public safety is willing to give escorts to students from Ross-Tarrant if needed.”

   I understand that there is less ticketing, and the availability of Public Safety escorts exist, but that does not change the overall issue that upperclassmen cannot find parking spots.

   It is no secret that first-year students are living in Cashman and Pontigny Halls. With the new parking pass situation; they can park there, too. 

   This creates a snowball effect.

   If more Cashman students park further, it pushes Pontigny students down, then Canterbury students into Cronogue parking. 

   This causes Cronogue residents to park behind the 200s, forcing Seniors and Juniors in townhouses to park in Alliot / Dion, and sometimes Ross-Tarrant.

   People who have spent the last four years slugging around campus, typically get their own, close spots. They’ve earned it.

   Now, it has been taken away from them.

   If you live in the 300s, you might be blind to this, unaware of the chaos outside of your party-loving bubble.

   I don’t know the solution. But I do know Ross-Tarrant is quite bare these days.

   This is the largest first-year class St. Michael’s has seen in a while, open Ross-Tarrant parking for first-year students only.

   Sophomores consistently live in the suites and do not need to park at Ross-Tarrant, but the first-year students living in the dorms do.

   This will drive the unnecessary traffic in the Alliot / Dion lot into Tarrant, and hopefully open up the parking by the suites.

   We still have hope, as the switchboard member did say that this will be open to change for next year.

   But until then, I won’t be able to find a parking spot, and neither will you.

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