Sudden changes to university parking need communication

When commuter students returned from Thanksgiving break, they were met with a construction zone taking up an entire row of spots in the library parking lot. The construction has begun by tearing up the lot’s asphalt, though specific plans for the area have yet to be directly shared with students.

This comes after the sudden addition of various charging ports for electric vehicles around campus. These can be found in the lot next to the Beckerman Recreation Center, next to the C-Store and within the large commuter lot behind Dunham Hall. Cars parking in these spots that are not utilizing the charging ports are subject to violation and tow, according to signs posted there.

This means that even more spots have been taken from commuter students, following the restructuring of on-campus parking this summer. Now, with the onset of construction in the library lot, once again spots are being limited in some way.

There is no issue with making such changes; offering charging areas for students, faculty and staff with electric vehicles is very helpful. It is a welcomed change that will help those students moving forward.

However, the lack of communication surrounding these decisions is concerning for students, especially commuters who struggle to find parking already. For transparency with the students, it would be helpful for the university to either reach out to the student body via email with updates or offer a page on the website that is updated with any kind of changes like these.

A good example of helpful communication was an email from the university’s Chief of Police Adam Brown, which informed students of the addition of gate closures after 9:30 p.m. This announced the plan to close the Ruden St. and Boston Post Rd. secondary entrances to vehicles at night, directing traffic into the main entrance to campus. It was also announced that guests would need to be registered with the office of Residential Life if they are arriving after 9:30 p.m.

Those changes were made in response to the recent safety incidents in the last year, which highlighted some areas of concern with campus safety. The change is good to know, however, communication is even more commendable as it lets the students know what is happening.

This communication can’t stop there. Any changes made to the parking need to be expressed to the students before they happen, rather than catching them by surprise when they return from break.