The McIntosh Lot sign indicating that only visitors and faculty can park in that lot. (Northern Review Photo / Cole Zaferakis)

ONU has always had a scarcity of parking spots on campus. This ongoing issue has been a topic of concern for many students, even before the current pandemic caused a lowered enrollment rate. New students are finding this to be all to be true; whether it is the difficulty finding spots, or the confusing parking rules and permits, upper and underclassmen alike are not pleased with the current situation.

“I find myself searching for spots constantly in my marked zone. More often than not I find myself having to park in the Inn’s parking lot with other students…” Freshman Owen Cook said on parking in Affinity West.

The full parking lot outside of Affinity West. The rest of the Affinity residents are parked at the Inn. (Photo/Owen Cook)

Most of the parking spots that are open on campus are the ones that are the furthest away from the residential buildings. This causes students to decide between maybe parking close to their dorm or apartment, parking at the inn and walking the rest of the way, or parking in the wrong lot and getting a ticket. Parking tickets have increased, despite the number of incoming students being down compared to the previous years.

The Freed Center’s Parking lot almost completely empty. This is one of the only lots that never fill up, but is also in the center of campus, away from all the dorms. (Northern Review/ Cole Zaferakis)

Trying to decipher the parking color coding is another complaint coming from students. When the parking spots that students are supposed to park in fill up, students move to the nearest lot, often not looking at the small, unlit signs for parking. This color coding system can be hard to figure out to a student who does not actively pay attention to it. The head of Public Safety, Chief Gregory Horne, had to send out an e-mail clarifying where students are allowed to park.

Chief Horne’s E-Mail clarifying the parking rules on campus. (Graphic / Gregory Horne)
The official diagram of where the different passes allow one to park. (Graphic / ONU Public Safety)

The largest complaint to come from students at this point is the “overbooking” of parking spots. Similar to how airlines sell more tickets than their planes can hold, ONU sells parking passes to anyone who will buy one, disregarding the limited parking spots.

“[ONU] Needs to either add more parking spots or sell a limited amount of passes per lot.”

Ryan McClure

Should the school sell parking passes on a “first-come first-serve” basis, where each lot has a limited amount of passes to be bought, the parking issue would be greatly reduced. A simple consolidation of the convoluted color coding system, as well as allowing students to park in unused reserved spots is all it would take to help fix the current parking issue.

“This would all change if there were proper amounts of parking in our assigned zone.”

Owen Cook

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