For most commuter students at C.W. Post, scouring the campus for an available parking space has become an all-too-familiar routine. However, this semester’s lack of spots near the main academic buildings on campus has left many students irritated over having to rearrange their mornings simply to find available parking on campus without having to trudge to class.
Cheryl Mosher, an education major said, “Time management is something every student struggles with, and having to account for 20 extra minutes each time we have a class, in order to find a parking spot, is just plain unfair.”
Mosher was not exaggerating; if students do not arrive early to class, they will be hard-pressed to find open spaces to park in the Tilles Center and Hillwood Commons parking lots. Adjacent to Kahn Discovery center and Humanities Hall, these lots house the most sought-after parking spaces on campus and are usually filled before 9:15 a.m. Failure to arrive early almost ensures that students will typically have to park further away, often in the parking lot near the Pratt Recreation Center. This is a far walk from the main academic buildings on campus, and it can feel even longer in the bitter winter weather.
Students generally put up with the bothersome facets to parking with few complaints, so they feel it is a slap in the face when they occasionally arrive on campus to find Public Safety has blocked off sections of the Tilles Center parking lot for vehicles carrying attendees to events, such as elementary school field trips. Students are not notified about this prior to driving onto campus, and it can certainly make their already stressful mornings even more distressing.
Tim Moshman, a junior marketing major, summed up the sentiments of most commuter students by saying, “If there is an event going on at the Tilles Center, they shouldn’t close off the lot to students. It should be on a first-come, first-served basis; we pay to park in those spots, not in Guam.”
Paul Rapess, the C.W. Post director of public safety said, “Occasionally the parking lot near the Tilles Center lot is closed to accommodate school buses carrying school children, who attend events at the concert hall or for a very special event such as a meeting for the Long Island University board of trustees. The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts is part of our community and extends a wonderful opportunity for children, high school and college students, as well as the general public, to experience world-class dance, theatre and music. Approximately twice a month, the lots are blocked to accommodate 10 to 30 school buses with school children attending a performance or event.”
Rapess further explained that the lots must accommodate busses because state law mandates that school busses must park as close to the destination as possible, and the school wants to ensure safety for the passengers coming to the campus. “Tilles Center, in conjunction with the C.W. Post Conference Services department, is careful to select dates, such as Fridays, when there are fewer classes as to not interrupt parking patterns or parking space availability for C.W. Post students.” However, on the morning of Tuesday, February 15, 2011, sections of the Tilles Center lot was closed off to students.
The aforementioned quandaries raise the question as to how C.W. Post can resolve the parking problem and accommodate more commuter vehicles. Angela Prudente-Gervais, a senior Accounting Major, suggested the University should “get rid of all that grass near the Tilles Center because it could be used for spots, and they should build up the Tilles Center lot to a parking garage with a bunch of levels.”
Gervais’ suggestion is not too far-fetched. Adelphi University, a nearby university to C.W. Post, installed an underground parking garage under its soccer field to accommodate more commuter vehicles. While it did not completely solve the University’s parking dilemma, it did alleviate the burden on some commuter students by giving them additional spaces to park. This may be a worthwhile consideration for C.W. Post; however, C.W. Post Administration could not be reached for comment.
Junior Nicole Mylonas, a marketing major, agrees with Gervais’ idea, and she also thinks that Public Safety should allow commuter students to park in the empty spaces in the Life Science (Pell Hall) faculty parking lot. “It never gets full, yet the student parking gets filled up right away.”
For now, until a solution is drawn up to solve the parking predicament, C.W. Post students have no choice but to continue to arrive early for class or face a long walk from their cars to their classes. One can only hope that fewer students than the current 6,400 commuter students, according to Public Safety, commute to class by car in future semesters, or that C.W. Post administrators work with students to find a parking solution that works for everyone. Until then, happy walking!