In September of 2010 – I was a freshman at Bryant and unlike every member of the Class of 2016, I didn’t have a car on campus. The car I drove during high school wouldn’t have made the two hour drive from my house to campus, so I left it at home. My parents didn’t see any need for me to have a car on campus either, and quite frankly I think that they thought if I had a car on campus I might come home (oh no).
I didn’t have a job off-campus, I didn’t have an internship at the time, I didn’t need to go to the grocery store that often, I wasn’t 21 so going to the liquor store wasn’t an option, and personally I didn’t see the need to have my car sit and take up space in a parking lot where other students who needed better parking spots could be parking.
In addition to not having a dire need for my very own car on campus as a freshman, I recognized that there were plenty of public transportation options available to me such at the BTA and RIPTA. If worse came to worse, I would need to make a friend who had a car on campus, which is exactly what I did. Not only does the Class of 2016 have the BTA, RIPTA, and upper classman friends to transport them, recently Bryant partnered with Zipcar so we now have two cars on campus that students can make use of whenever they need to go somewhere.
Generally I wouldn’t waste time on such a minute topic but after the recent snow storm, the influx of freshman parking in designated upperclassman areas, and some brief research I couldn’t help it. Allegedly, Bryant is one of few campuses across the U.S. that allows freshman to have cars on campus let alone allows them to have a car on campus for free. This would be considered a perk of coming to Bryant for many students going through the college application process; however, once you are an upper classman it is no longer a privilege but rather a curse.
The Blizzard Nemo clean-up would have gone much smoother had there been fewer cars on campus. It would have made it possible for DPS to coordinate a parking lot cleanup procedure ,making it easier for our facilities and maintenance workers to clean up without any obstructions such as parked cars. What I mean by parking lot cleanup procedure is where one parking lot is designated to be free of cars and it is cleared first, then everyone moves their vehicles to the clear parking lot so that the next lot can be cleared. This could only be achieved if there were significantly fewer cars on campus.
My last point is that upper classmen who have jobs off-campus or part time internships are the students who need cars on campus, not the freshman who need to go to Target once a month. Upperclassmen along with commuters, faculty, and staff should be able to pull onto campus and find a parking spot relatively close to the Unistructure, their dorm, or their office suite in a minimal amount of time. These students, faculty, and staff are often rushing onto campus for class, meetings, etc. and don’t have time to be walking from the middle of the football field where they had to park their car because the entire freshman and sophomore class’ have cars on campus that move once a month.
I don’t mean to target the lower classmen. This isn’t your choice; you are simply taking advantage of an opportunity provided to you by the university. I am saying that DPS should be checking vehicles for their colored sticker and making sure that the proper cars are parked in the proper places so that campus can operate in a more structured and fair manner for everyone.
On a personal note: I can vouch for other students who have internships. We never get to leave the office on time, we don’t have ten extra minutes to find the last parking spot available on campus, and most female interns are in heels which make running to class an Olympic event.
Trust me, I love my internship, and I wouldn’t want to get rid of it, but I also like to be on time, not rush, and be prepared for class, all of which is next to impossible with the parking situation on this campus.
I survived my freshman year without, a car and I firmly believe that the incoming classes of freshman can too. It would honestly make it much easier for the rest of campus to operate, and it wouldn’t hurt the incoming freshman because they aren’t used to having a car on campus anyway.