By Hunter Ellis, Multimedia Managing Editor
During Monday’s Student Government Association meeting, Senior Director of Auxiliary Services Bill Moran told the Senate that Xavier has hired an independent consultant for an upcoming parking and mobility study on campus.
In light of this upcoming study, I’d like to offer a starting point for the administration: Fix the issues with the university’s current parking policies.
It’s no secret among students that Xavier has some parking problems. We deal with the university’s shortcomings in this department almost every day. Even still, these issues are exacerbated during one particular time of year: basketball season.
As Newswire staff member Joseph Cotton outlined in an opinion piece written in January 2021, the parking lots already available to students are far away and inconvenient.
Yet, for some reason, Xavier mandates that all students parked in the R3 lot on men’s basketball game days move their car to a different location on campus at least four hours before the game.
At first, this policy may seem more reasonable than it really is. After all, the university reserves several other lots for students to relocate their cars to.
However, many of the lots the university offers as “alternative locations” aren’t really alternatives at all.
As a student, I have a pass for the Commons lot. According to the university, I could move my car that is parked in R3 to the Commons lot. Except, if there were spots available in the Commons lot, why would I have parked at R3 in the first place?
Sure, students could move their cars to the R1 or R2 lots, but the former is almost always full, and the latter is typically near-full and over a 10-minute walk from Bellarmine Chapel.
In addition, the Gallagher lot and Admissions/CLC lot are reserved for students on game days, but the admissions lot only has 30 non-handicapped spots total, and Gallagher doesn’t have many more than that.
Xavier also reserves lots such as the Smith lot for students, which may have plenty of available spots, but the email is sure to remind you: “If your vehicle is parked in these lots on any other day you are subject to receive a parking citation for the violation.”
It’s wrong of the university to force students to move their vehicles twice in one day — or risk being ticketed or towed — for the convenience of people attending basketball games when we pay upward of $175 to be allowed to park there in the first place. It’s simply unfair for the university to inconvenience student’s parking situations more than they already have.
This is without even mentioning the countless other problems with parking on and around campus relating to game days — like the fact that commuters also must vacate all of the C lots four hours before games — let alone how there are no spots available for guests at University Station.
But if Xavier is really looking to investigate and improve parking on campus with their new parking study, they must first start by fixing their current game day policy, allowing for residents to keep their spots in R3.