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Editorial: Parking Lot Party




OPINION

By Jacob Greene


PARKING

Simpson University and William Jessup University are compared often. They both are private Christian universities with a smaller student body. Jessup’s undergraduate enrollment (as of fall 2022) is 1,169 according to usnews.com. That same site has Simpson’s undergraduate enrollment amount (as of fall 2022) at 729. Of the enrolled students 37% of Jessup students live on campus while 65% of Simpson students live on campus. According to those statistics 432.53 Jessup students live on campus and 473.85 Simpson students live on campus.

These figures show the parking lot distance from the dorms. If the problem is that there is not enough parking–students are mistaken. Even with commuters, staff, and visitors, there are still open spots. If the Science and Nursing building (approx. XX feet away from living areas) is too far then you should go to school online so you do not have to walk to and from things. Jessup is 126 acres while Simpson is only 92 acres.

MEMES

A meme account was created on Instagram to poke fun at the bad parking here. The first post was on Oct. 3. Whoever runs the account is anonymous, there are no names attached to it. Right around the time the meme page was created a petition was submitted to ASBSU President Brandon Hall and Vice President Jacob Vincent. A student made the petition, it was signed by many.

Vincent told me what the “parking situation” is according to the current ASBSU administration.

“Parking is a difficult issue, the petition got turned in to us. We talked about it with people who are involved,” Vincent said. “The difficult thing is that there’s a lot of people involved in these decisions. You can’t just like push something through because there’s problems that need to be solved before you can solve other problems.

The root of the issue is different than people realize.

“The main problem as we talk to the people involved in it–we’ve realized–is that we need to start doing a better job of registering vehicles and being able to keep account of what vehicles are in our parking lot,” Vincent said, “While we do the parking passes, not everybody actually gets those, and we don’t have a very strict policy on what happens with that as of the moment.”

LEGISLATION

Dr. Hall’s fireside chat got a little heated at some points. One of Dr. Hall’s best responses was to the parking concern. The Slate’s brief quoted Dr. Hall who said, “You have to be careful what you want to legislate, because if this goes much further it becomes assigned parking, then the people that don’t go into their assigned parking, they get fines, and then all of a sudden we become this police state on parking. So, I would urge you guys to study this as a student group, student leadership, and come back and tell me if there is a problem.” The Slate published a summary of the event. Some highlights included a student who said, “I’ve been a student here for 4 years…I have a concern that Simpson is not upholding its commitment to being Christ-centered.” True or not–it is bold. That is the beauty of these fireside chats. Dr. Hall wants students to ask questions like this. This is not a Dr. Hall show and tell. This is for students to bring their concerns forward to the administration. It is also for students to ask questions or bring concerns directly to administrators. When the student size increases abruptly housing will be more difficult than before–it’s math. Drinking fountains–for filtered water–were another item brought up at the fireside chat. This is a recurring topic because students do not have easy access to fresh drinking water–they have to walk to the cafeteria or Owens Center. Water bottles do not fit under sinks in the dorms. The other option is to use the tap water in the kitchen [of the dorms] which is not filtered.


  • Thompson kitchen: First floor

  • Irwin kitchen: First floor

  • Morgan kitchen: Second floor

  • Currie kitchen: Second floor

  • Cooper kitchen: Filled with BSSM students, second floor

UPGRADES Additions are nothing new for Simpson. They are constantly adding new things—that is never the complaint. The standard gripe is that there are things that need fixing or could be better, but instead that money goes to something new, such as a sports team, sports bubble, or engineering building. It took an entire football program to get the weight room expanded, but even that is not finished yet. A wall got taken out so there is more floor space, but no additional equipment. LOOKING AHEAD I am all for looking ahead. I am a college student–I have been looking ahead. Not only looking ahead but planning, dreaming, and praying about what is ahead. I have to do something with my degree. I need to think about what that is now so when I graduate I know what steps to take next. The same thing goes for other things in life. You think ahead. You plan. But, you also need to take into consideration the things in your current situation that need fixing. Rome may not have been built in a day, but it had to be maintained and upgraded. Of all the things that need to be upgraded or fixed—I do not think parking is at the top of that list. I am not blind, the lines are crooked, and the parking lot layout is not the most efficient, but so far it works. There are more pressing matters to attend to. SOLUTIONS A solution I can offer is to deal with it. We live on a small campus, it is not far. Assigned parking, freshman not having cars, or “adding another parking lot” as if it is that easy to do. There is no place to expand parking or add another lot. The “overflow parking” areas are by the science and nursing building or the gym. To reiterate, it is not that there is not enough parking. It is that students are going to find something to complain about. A couple hundred more feet will not kill you–no matter how sore or tired you are. If your legs are sore from walking, talk to someone from Jessup or UC Davis, where they have to walk farther, much farther. UC Davis does not even allow freshmen to have cars. Take notes from them–invest in a bicycle or scooter. I suppose if you are really sore it could be motorized.

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