BY MORGAN ROSCOW
Parking at McKendree University has grown into a bigger issue in the past few years due to the increasing influx of first year students since 2013. When McKendree holds specific events such as game nights (mainly football), parking becomes an even bigger problem. However, game nights are not the only events at McKendree in which parking is an issue. For example, consider the events held at Hett or even Family Fun Weekend. While some students believe that there is enough parking at McKendree during event days, some believe otherwise.
One student – a senior who we will call Ted Miller because he wished to remain anonymous – said, “There are lots of parking spots available during events actually, but there’s the lower level of The Hett; it’s like first come first serve. If you tend to come at the start of the game, parking can then be a problem.”
My source also said, “A lot of students don’t check their email as often as they should. Public Safety should have more outlets for students to be aware to move their vehicle beside emails.” This student suggests there should be more signs placed around campus and not just beside the parking lots.
Tegan Clinton, senior, mentioned that on the first game of the season, one of her friends had parked in C Lot, and then she started receiving phone calls from Public Safety before her class ended at 2 PM. When discussing other sporting events on campus, Clinton added, “I know, for basketball games, [it is] hard [to park] too; that back lot gets full,” but she also thought the parking lots are more crowded during the school week than during the weekends or on game days.
Students and faculty receive emails regarding which parking lots need to be vacated at least a few days before events take place. Clinton, however, does check her email often, and said “Signs are your last reminder. I don’t know how else they would do it” when it comes to communicating more with students about moving their vehicles.
Ashley Klass, a junior, said there needs to be more signs posted because she does not “check [her] email religiously.”
For events at the Hett, according to the McKendree website, Lots A and B are cleared out for handicap and valet parking but since A and B Lots are for white sticker (faculty and staff) parking, it does not seem to be a big deal in regards to student parking. There seems to be two options when it comes to moving your vehicle for game days: you can either check your email more often to know when to move your vehicle, or you can check the signs that are placed by the parking lot entrances and then move your vehicle in time.
One officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “From past experience dealing with game day parking, most students have already parked their vehicles the night before in other lots or have gone home for the weekend,” which seems to be consistent with what students have said. “D and E Lots,” the officer continued, “are fairly full after C Lot has been vacated…. H Lot is fairly empty on game day.” Some students are worried about being ticketed for not moving their vehicles in time, and to that issue, the officer stated, “Public Safety tries to make every effort to contact students to have them move their vehicle. If the vehicle is not moved in a certain amount of time after Public Safety has made contact with the student, they will ticket them [for] Failure to Comply with Parking Restriction.”
So, the question remains: Is parking really an issue? Or, are students simply bothered by the fact that they have to move their vehicles before home games? Based on several accounts, there does not seem to be many issues with parking on game days or Hett events. In order to avoid receiving a ticket from Public Safety, look at your email, pay attention to the signs posted and pick up your phones if Public Safety calls.