Isabella Villegas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Most students at Ursinus understand the triumphant moment when you get a perfect parking spot. However, the experience of driving around multiple parking lots trying to find a spot has become disturbingly routine. This year, all upperclassmen living on Main Street were given priority parking access, while sophomores were placed in a lottery to secure a spot in the lots behind the houses. However, the remaining sophomores were out of luck and were given parking access in the 9th Avenue lot instead. The parking lottery is set up much like the housing lottery, and the numerical order decides which sophomores get awarded parking first.
The parking lottery follows overcrowding in the Main Street lots, which concerned many students last year. Students living on Main Street would often have to patrol multiple lots in the hope of securing a spot, especially during the school week when their schedules were packed to the brim. Circling multiple lots is inconvenient and stressful. One might hope that limiting the number of Main Street parking passes would help mitigate this burden.
Even though juniors and seniors are positively affected by the parking lottery, some sophomores feel shunned and others sympathize with the practice. One sophomore, who would like to remain anonymous, did not receive a Main Street parking pass and said, “I find it inconvenient when there are multiple parking lots behind the Main Street houses. Living in a house with a parking lot directly behind it seems useless when I still have to park across campus due to bad luck of the draw.” Another sophomore, who would also like to remain anonymous, thinks “the lottery is a fair practice for parking, but I know it can be difficult. Some of my friends ended up with 9th Ave parking permits and having that farther parking is certainly an added stressor.” The parking lottery is a viable way to avoid overcrowding but it proves not to benefit everyone. Is it the best way to conduct business, to ensure that every student has an equal shot at securing a spot? This is a call for Ursinus to explore other avenues. After all, it cannot hurt.