Opinion

Letter to the Editor

Re: Student Government President Jose Diaz’ Jan. 25

It is good to know that at least someone is listening to me. I want to thank Jose Diaz, our student government president for responding to my article, “Parking Blunders.” He obviously cares for the school, which is reassuring, and he wanted to defend the administration from my attack, which is understandable. However, his defense does not hold water.
First, the most important issue: Mr. Diaz claims that it was actually the students who made the decision to create the new patio in front of Eaton (consequentially cutting down their chances at parking). This simply cannot be true.
The majority of students, as we all know, are poor. And, as we all know, major decisions at a university are made by people who have money. No matter how badly students want more places to hang out, the ultimate decision lies in the hands of whoever has the money. To those people I say there is no justification for deciding to satisfy one student complaint when it involves making an even more bitter complaint worse.
Also, I am positive that most students would rather not pay for multiple parking tickets than have a few extra tables to hang out around. The fact that the lost parking spaces are being replaced in other lots, as Mr. Diaz points out, is no excuse.
They could have been making those extra spaces in addition to the ones they paved over, not instead of them. Moreover, I know that they could have put the patio somewhere where no parking spaces would have been sacrificed.
And how dare they still give tickets after taking away our spaces???!!! Every day, I see some unfortunate student get a ticket in the Eaton lot and I think, if they wouldn’t have taken out those spaces to put in the patio, that student would have a place to park! I’m sure after finding that ticket the student wasn’t worried about admiring the beauty of the patio.
What’s worse, according to the department of transportation there are roughly 7,083 spaces on campus. When I asked how many parking passes they sold, they refused to say. Do you smell something fishy? I can’t say for a fact if they do sell more permits than they have spaces, but judging by their silence and the number of cars with permits forced to park illegally every day, I don’t think I am too far from the truth.
But let’s stick to the facts. No school has the right to provide inadequate parking, even take away from what little there is, and then have the gall to give students tickets because they cannot be accommodated. This is especially true if my hunch is right and they sold even one more than 7,083 permits. You say the administration can’t win, Mr. Diaz. I say not as long as they continue to make such ill-advised decisions.

Travis Atria is a sophomore majoring in English literature.

February 1, 2002

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