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At IU, an ongoing battle for a parking spot

September 12, 2013

Sarah Cawthon

One of the biggest complaints made on large university campuses today is not about the cost of tuition, lack of instruction from professors or even the exams, but parking. Yes, parking.
Finding a parking spot on a large university campus is as impossible as trying to find a Purdue fan outside of West Lafayette.
While it is understood that most campuses do not offer ample parking spaces to discourage students from leaving the campus during the school year, universities are still ignorant as to how most students actually get to campus – in cars.
Taking my car to school has been an absolute necessity.
Indiana University Bloomington is located 3 1/2 hours away from Plymouth and if I wanted to ever leave campus to visit home or buy more than two bags of groceries, I needed my car. (Plus, campus always eventually gets boring and the local Sonic is located 10 miles away from my living quarters. Like I said, necessity.)
Thankfully, this year I was blessed with the sacred “D” parking pass that allows me to park relatively close to my on-campus apartment.
Last year, I was not so lucky.
Transferring from a small college, I had never considered that parking could be such a problem.
At Ancilla College, I only had to park in the back of the lot occasionally and even then the walk averaged a mere two minutes.
Therefore, I figured I would surely have no problem finding a parking space on IU’s huge campus.
I was in an upperclassmen and graduate dorm after all.
So, I signed up for a parking pass in late July. This was the worst decision I could have made.
I found out that Willkie only provides about 100 parking spaces for the two 11-story dormitories.
Needless to say, I was in trouble.
When I arrived on campus, I was notified that I would have an “E” parking space, which can be found either 2 miles away from my dorm in Assembly Hall’s parking lot or a mile away on Jordan St.’s “Frat Row.”
If I were to park at Assembly Hall, I would also be required to move my car on home game days and hope an “E” spot would magically appear on campus so that I would not be forced to move my car at midnight and walk the 2 miles back to my dorm in the dark.
I couldn’t decide which was worse – leaving my car in a vastly dark parking lot 2 miles away or dealing with “frat stars” every time I needed my car.
Luckily, I eventually found some secret spots snuggled between the IU Recreational Center and Jordan St.
The walks to my car were 10 minutes long.
The weather was either scalding hot or sliding down to subzero temperatures and the occasional blizzard made it nearly impossible to parallel park.
Thus, last April, I had had enough and signed up for a “D” parking space 12 minutes after the email appeared in my inbox.
Nevertheless, parking is still a problem and I have yet to leave campus.
This time, however, it is not because my car is too far away, but because I can’t seem to give up my front row space.
Plymouth native Sarah Cawthon is a junior at Indiana University Bloomington.

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