Cold weather sparks parking conversation

As members of the Rockhurst community are well aware, the 2014-2015 school year has marked the implementation of several new rules in relation to student life. One of these new rules includes assigned parking spots for those students who drive themselves to school; a rule which caused a bit of controversy at the beginning of the year amongst juniors who felt cheated by their poor parking spots. The rule, however, has been received with positive feedback, according to Dean of Students Mr. Matt Darby.

During the fall season, students with the farthest parking spots did not mind the long walk to the Barry Commons. But as the weather gradually became colder and less bearable, juniors who walked past empty parking spots in the upper lot began to complain more. These complaints were prominent last week as the second semester began with one of the coldest weeks we have seen all school year, with temperatures reaching lows of three degrees.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the complaints stemmed from the absence of the seniors, whose cars normally take up the bulk of the spots in the upper lot.

“I think it’s ridiculous how when the seniors are gone, and it is below freezing, we have to take the long walk up the hill while there are more than 100 empty parking spots in the upper lot,” junior Nate Privitera said.

The scarcely populated upper lot during the coldest days of the year has allowed the complaints to be grounded not only in confusion, but also in logic, or lack thereof. The dreadfully cold walk each morning seems unnecessary during the two weeks that the seniors are gone from school, and despite allowing juniors to park in the upper lot on just a few of the coldest days, Rockhurst has not addressed the possibility of allowing juniors to utilize the empty parking spots for the time being. According to Mr. Darby, this is for the sake of consistency, among other reasons.

“The beauty of having assigned parking spots is that it gives us the ability to keep track of everyone and their cars,” Mr. Darby said. “If there are any problems, such as a flat tire, lights left on, etc., then we want to be able to know whose car it is so that we can help.”

Maintaining the system of assigned parking spots also helps to keep things from becoming too hectic while the seniors are gone, according to Mr. Darby. He wants to prevent students from sneaking into spots for which they do not have a pass, and avoid going through the hassle of having to redesignate students’ parking passes.

Despite this dilemma during the two weeks of senior service, Mr. Darby says that feedback on parking spots this year has been mostly positive, and that next year will bring better parking spots for current juniors.

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