Student Voices on Parking: Let’s cut some yellow lines
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Wright State is a university that speaks loudly against inequality. Its presidents make vitriolic statements from the pulpit of graduations on the subject of injustices. That is why this author finds it curious that, when they have a chance to right a smaller wrong within their control, they have acted like the one issue powers they speak so vehemently against. Why, when they have the opportunity to right an inequality, they consistently kick it down the hill for the least powerful of the university to carry the brunt of the load? In order that the most powerful can play it safe and not disrupt the comfort of their secure cubicles. Parking has been the crux of a long held rancor between students, who bury the next two decades of their future beneath a mountain of burgeoning debt to finance the services of this university. And its officials, who from their repeated failure to make any consequential difference in the blight students suffer reveal the hollowness of their convictions.
In no way am I equating the suffering of the international struggle for civil rights with the stalemate on parking at Wright State University. That would be absurd and insulting to the paramount extent. I am merely highlighting the need to turn attentions home, after seeking approbation beyond the walls of this university. But there are similar dynamics in the relationship between the privileged entitled powers, and the lowest person on the totem pole. Time and time again, the students are forced to realize that their considerations are worthless, if they do not equate into income. That their concerns are immaterial for the powerful of the university to consider.
Every commuter shares the experience of being stalked in the parking lots as desperate drivers hunt you. Risking everything in a wild gambit to secure your parking position. One cannot blame them however, because we have all resorted to that desperate measure. It’s the difference between the extra five minutes of cramming before a crucial exam. The differential of having a few moments to wait in line, buy a coffee, and perhaps make an acquaintance with a friend. The extra few seconds to decompress from the frenzied rush of traffic while exiting the highway.
Instead, there are no open spots. At least, not for you. Not the low person on the totem pole. There are no spots for you. Your kind has long been unwelcome in the most advantageous corners of this university. Where you are welcome is in the outskirts. Where your kind will never encroach upon those who will not suffer the need to search for a position. Every Wright State commuter shares the experience of wasting precious minutes throwing a Hail Mary for some God-given chance that they will find a spot near the library. All the while, cars whip through the ails in a pell-mell rush to be the one to fortuitously find themselves behind the odd commuter leaving between hours.
There is a deep-seated sense of uneasiness and insecurity while strolling to your vehicle. All the while using your peripherals to see what messages your body language may be conveying to those stalking you. That is the last thing parents considering where to send their beloved children to college want to read. University representatives that give the impression of being the advocates of security by sending countless emails about robbery, but will daily endanger their children by negligently turning a blind eye to a hazardous environment easily within their control. Meanwhile, entire parking lots in the choicest positions sit empty. Marked only by shining yellow lines. Lines that scream, “You don’t belong here! If you park here, we will make you hurt for it. You will pay.” The empty lots stare at you like a clear cut in the forest.
By all means, the intensity of this document would likely seem out of place to anyone who is not a local commuter to Wright State. “It’s not the end of the world.” They might say. “You can still walk.” That’s true. But who wants an environment where they feel stalked and in danger? I implore the officials of this university to make a change. Hope and change that we, the driving commuter life force of this university, can believe in. Imagine no longer chalked upon your walls the indignant polemic “shame the admin.” This university has spent millions of dollars in renovating its sports complex. In order to improve the morale of its students, all it would cost is a few dollars in paint cans to change some yellow lines into white lines. It’s a low cost concession for a high return on investment. We do not need a bigger police state to make a marked improvement on safety. We just need a few more parking spots. Certainly this comes at a time that this university could appreciate a release valve to the pressure like vice of scrutiny that has harangued it in recent months.