It is no secret that parking has become an issue over the last decade on campus due to Pacific University’s increase in student population. Now, it appears with every new school year, The Pacific Index publishes the same article about the reoccurring problem.
Instead of debating whether the university needs more parking spaces versus the responsibility of the individual student to arrive on time to class we should solve the problem without spending money. We should not allow freshmen to have their vehicles on campus.
I understand my perspective comes out of hypocrisy considering I was also a freshman who had a car. But it was not until my sophomore year I realized the cluttered traffic these vehicles caused. While it may seem like violation of civil liberties to deny some of their car, it makes sense.
Freshmen generally have everything they need on campus. Most of them have full meal plans and there are a plethora of convenient stores around the area. I am rational to the idea of freshmen wanting to travel places like the Oregon coast and Portland. However, the university provides students with a rental car service called Zip-Car. Zip-Car has a monthly plan that costs seven dollars, the equivalent to a music subscription with Spotify.
Within this plan, the student may drive as much as they want. Normally Zip-Car has a 25 dollar application fee but if you apply through Pacific it is only 15. Once again, I understand that taking away this right would deny freshmen an access to a certain amount of freedom but there are many schools that do not let freshmen have cars and in some, student do not even use a car.
The University Wisconsin Madison (UW) has a student population of 42,441 and the percentage of students on-campus with cars is zero. To put it in perspective, our total student population makes up roughly eight percent of UW, which means their campus is likely to be at least five times larger.
Obviously, there are some exceptions to this regulation. If you are a freshman who commutes or lives at home, you should be able to have the ability to drive to school. This may be an inconvenience for freshmen but it would help the school tremendously with its parking problem.