Commuter students and faculty came to campus on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 17 and found some of the parking lot behind the Shapiro Library blocked off for the Career and Internship Fair participants.
A vehicle from public safety sat in the lot to save the spaces, and barriers were set up. There was no prior notification from Public Safety that these parking spaces would be closed. This was not the first time there were parking restrictions without any notification. Public Safety Director Jim Winn said that Public Safety “took 100 out of 465 spaces in the lot. If there is not going to be an impact, we do not notify people of the closed spaces. If we were closing a whole lot, we would notify people.“
Winn explained that Public Safety conducts surveys every day for the first three weeks of each semester to determine the flow of traffic in the parking lots. Surveys are conducted at the beginning of class times to see how popular the spaces in the lots are. This allows them to judge how many spots they can give to guests for special events without having to displace commuters.
Winn continued, “We don’t want to displace people. I wouldn’t authorize closing the spaces if anyone would be displaced based on the surveys. ”Senior Paul Peters, who got to campus before 9 a.m., said, “I wasn’t frustrated today. I was like, whatever.”
Another student who preferred to remain anonymous said, “I couldn’t find anywhere to park. I ended up parking behind the swimming pool on the side just so I could get to class as soon as possible. I was 6 minutes late to class because of this. If I had been notified, I would’ve come earlier and probably would’ve been okay.” This student arrived to campus after 9 a.m. to get to his 9:30 a.m. class.
After notifying Winn that some commuter students and faculty were displaced on Feb. 17 even with only 100 spaces taken, Winn said that he may “consider making a notification in the future. Not for just 25 spots, but maybe for more than that.”