Patriot Position: Closed Parking Lot


Often, as students, we must suffer through the inconveniences of our institution. Sometimes it is a lack of food options with the meal plan. Sometimes it is a closed-off swimming pool. Sometimes it is a limited number of washers and dryers available in the on-campus laundry rooms.   

Presently, we are all dealing with the closing of the Smith University Center (UC) parking lot for the construction of the new School of Business and School of Education building.   

This action was unavoidable with the new construction efforts. The university needed a designated lay area for materials, and the UC parking lot was the only viable option.   

Now, as the voice of you—the students—we want you to know that we see you and we hear you.   

We already had issues with parking on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and now the farthest parking lot has moved even farther. The ability to arrive at class three minutes before it starts is actively slipping through our fingers.   

There is an argument to be made that we have been lucky thus far regarding our parking reality. The longest walk on the campus is probably fifteen minutes, which is much better than a larger university like the University of South Carolina, Clemson University or Coastal Carolina University.   

Other arguments could be made that we are most definitely not as large as our sister institutions and should therefore maintain our convenient parking locations, but I digress.   

We understand how damaging this is to your relationship with your snooze buttons, Dunkin’ coffees and general sanity in the mornings. However, this time at least, soldiering through this inconvenience comes with rich rewards—a new building and a revamped student center.   

While that might not seem very exciting to some of you, let me enlighten you on why you should care.   

Firstly, President Carter was kind enough to pave the parking lot behind the tennis courts before closing the UC parking lot. If you never had to park in that parking lot before the repaving, count your blessings and your fully-inflated tires.   

Secondly, the new building is completely funded by the state, which means no student will have to pay for its construction through raised tuition. Luckily, our university works hard to acquire funding at all levels to spare the students and community from paying the price for new projects.   

Thirdly, the closed parking lot serves as an area for construction materials for the new building and the UC renovations.   

These new features will allow the Campus Activities Board, Student Government Association and Student Life to host more events for students. Hopefully, the additions will also cause students to become more involved in on-campus activities.   

Lastly, this new building and the UC renovations will bring more revenue to the university.  

Whether based on increased enrollment from enticed students or more alumni donations to an expanding institution, more money means more student opportunities. 

Who knows? Maybe they will even build a parking garage.