Cars, cars, and more cars, it seems like everyone is always in a constant struggle to find a parking spot for their beloved motor vehicle. For some reason, cars have become the transportation of choice for people all across the nation; no longer are buses, trains, even walking a part of everyday life.
[parking] The situation worsens as one enters the world of a large university. Embodying 5,200 acres of land, it would take weeks to explore the entirety of MSU by foot. Therefore, among students, driving has become the preferred way of traveling. Even between classes, many find it satisfying and necessary to rev up the engine and pimp out their dubs down Red Cedar Road. With over 40,000 graduate and undergraduate students, not to mention the number of faculty and staff, it’s no wonder the school prohibits freshmen from having cars. It would be utter chaos to add another 7,000 more vehicles to the parking mess on campus.
For the cars that are on campus, however, there ought to be a better way for the school to communicate to everyone the three big parking R’s: rules, regulations, and rates. The university needs to answer questions like, “Does the F lot open its gates in the evening for free parking?”, “Can commuters park in the F lot?”, and “Where is this so-called F lot? I thought parking lots were just numbered.”
It was only after a very time consuming journey and investigation of all student and commuter lots on the MSU campus did I find the truth about parking. First of all, just to be clear, there seems to be no unified standards; each lot has its own hours and management. There is no concern for the fact that students don’t have enough room in their brains to remember parking lot policies along with organic chemistry formulas and the names of all 300 characters in The Iliad. And it’s not even that the policies are all that confusing, everyone is just in a constant state of bewilderment because of the lack of communication between the administration and the student body.
[parking2] If the university, however, did think of an easy way to communicate their policies to all students, confusion would decrease significantly. My suggestion is that the school clearly states the three parking R’s. First and foremost are the rules. Although seemingly complicated, the rules really are very simple. For on-campus residents, each registered vehicle is issued to park in individual housing complex lots; overflow is generally assigned to lot 89, the commuter lot on Farm Lane. As a rule of thumb, commuter students (those who live off campus) must only park in lot 89 if they desire free parking. All other “commuter lots” require a fee and “student and resident lots” are considered off-limits.
Parking regulations, in it of themselves, are also very simple. All cars, bikes, mopeds, motorcycles…essentially all vehicles of transportation must be registered with MSU’s Department of Police and Public Safety. Visitors must obtain temporary parking permits from their host’s residence hall; otherwise, the university will issue citations. All citations must also be paid or appealed within 7 days.
The last parking R deals with the rates necessary for parking on campus. Parking is free for residence within their complex’s parking lots once initial registration and fees are arranged. Parking is also free for all commuters with permits when parking in lot 89.
Clearly, as everyone can see, parking at MSU is really very simple. There should be and would be no confusion at all, if only the school would make their policies more accessible to the general public. Citations should also, on a more consistent basis, be issued to all those who violate the rules. This is the only way to send clear messages to all student drivers.
As for the questions about the infamous F lot, no, the F lot does not open for free parking in the evenings because it is considered resident parking for South Complex. Commuters cannot legally park in the F lot, and the F lot, also deemed lot 83, is the large parking lot south of Holden Hall.
Nevertheless, according to the university’s long term plans, by the year 2020 all parking lots within the center of campus will potentially have disappeared and been replaced by grassy green meadows and well-paved bike and pedestrian paths. Until that time drives up into the present, however, it is still important for the university to communicate to all students where they can park their favorite mode of transportation. This is the only way for everyone to help clear the current parking mess and confusion on campus.
Sincerely,
Parking D. Prived

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