Opinions & Editorials

President Hanycz, your first request

Hello President Hanzyc, congratulations on being named Xavier’s first lay president. I’m excited to see the direction you take the institution that I have come to call home. Hope you find your welcoming as warm as I did a few years ago. 

I do, however, have one request for you on behalf of the  Xavier community: a parking structure. I believe that a sustainable parking structure would be a wise investment that could pay dividends for the university in the future.

I understand that balancing the school’s budget is not an easy task even in the most forgiving of circumstances and certainly not amidst a global pandemic. That being said, it seems very important to make sure that there is an effort to invest in capital improvement projects that allow the school to expand in a sustainable way.

A parking structure would help solve two problems that the university faces. The first, and most obvious, is the short term alleviation of the parking space headache that students, faculty and staff alike have to deal with. The second being it would create a lot more space on the campus for whatever building or green spaces the university needs in the future.

In regards to the first issue, it is clear to see that Xavier doesn’t handle it’s parking in the best way. For resident and commuter students, the parking lots are really far away. And if you’re not lucky enough to get a spot in the closet R-1 or C-2 lot, it’s an even longer hike. It is also my understanding that the situation for faculty is not great either. 

In addition to fixing a current problem, the decision to build more space-efficient parking would allow for more headroom to help Xavier expand and create top notch facilities to attract more students and talented faculty.

As it currently stands, the outer parts of campus are littered with sprawling parking lots which seem to be a rather terrible use of space. I would like to see that space used in a more productive manner. A more efficient use of land is always a good thing considering that land is always expensive. 

And to add a big cherry on top of this proposed parking structure project, it could have a positive sustainability impact. 

Parking lots take up a lot of valuable space that cannot be occupied by trees, flowers, and grass; all of which bring us oxygen, joy and create a way for rainwater to drain. When the lot is instead filled with concrete, the rainwater cannot drain into the ground and instead goes into sewer pipes.

The end result of this lack of proper rainwater drainage is that, when the drains receive too much water, they overflow into raw sewage pipes and result in a discharge of raw sewage into the surrounding waterways. It’s pretty dirty to think about, but it is a problem that Cincinnati continues to have a problem with. 

If instead of having sprawling concrete raw sewage machines sitting on campus, those spaces can be used for future buildings that can have sustainable infrastructure built into them, marking a positive change in the shift towards sustainability.

A parking structure would be a perfect infrastructure project. It would make a positive impact today, tomorrow and in a few years. Thanks for your consideration

God bless,

J.Cotton

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