As a senior approaching the end of my time at Pacific, I’ve had my fair share of parking frustrations over the past four years. I’ve to make many treks on and off campus to my parked car when there were no options close to my dorm building, and even instituted a rule with my friends freshman year that we couldn’t leave campus after a certain time in the evening so that we wouldn’t lose our spots.
I remember times when my friends and I would return from an event off campus late at night, and see suspicious figures lurking around on the streets next to campus. That would ensue a race back to our dorms in full out sprints, returning home out of breath with rapidly beating hearts.
Young women in their teens and twenties are hyper aware of their surroundings when we park. There are so many things that we need to take into consideration; the distance from our intended location, the amount of street lighting, whether or not there are other vehicles in the area etc. I’ve heard, and voiced, my fair share of parking complaints over the past four years.
There always seemed to be a disproportionate amount of parking passes sold to the actual amount of parking spaces on campus. Therefore, being able to park next to your actual residence was always a gamble. When I lived in Vandervelden, the number of times I had to park in a lot next to a different dorm building far outweighed the number of times I was able to park next to my own apartment.
I wish that there had been a system in place, where you could buy specific parking passes for specific lots, depending on your place on campus. Whether you were living in Cascade, or in Gilbert, I think it would have been helpful for designated passes to be given out so students wouldn’t have to park so far away from home.
I’m glad that a petition has finally made the rounds, and that change is on the way. Feeling scared and panicked on your own college campus is never a good experience, and I hope that with more lighting and more parking, less students will have to go through this. — Ella Cutter
Ella Cutter is a senior staff writer for the Index. She is currently pursuing degrees in journalism and editing and publishing, and also works for the downtown Portland indie press zines + things.