|Nothing pleases Cal more than finding|
an excuse to re-use an old,
This year, however, is a banner year. Since we are in a "growing" metro area, the powers that be have commenced multiple, simultaneous building projects, displacing hundreds (it seems) of parking spots meant for faculty and staff.
There is no remedy except to driving around in vain, only to either park illegally somewhere or stalk anyone going near a parked vehicle and hope to get their spot.
On Monday, after 20 minutes of driving in circles, I gave up and parked at a coin meter. Got a ticket, but it beat driving around in circles. Yesterday, after getting stuck in a line of cars attempting to enter the street leading into the uni parking lots, I pulled into a nearby lot and walked close to a mile to school.
Today, I will simply walk to school. It's a mile or so. Sadly, the weather here at NBU is still very humid and summery, so I will show up looking like I've just finished a footrace. And then it's fun to be all sweaty and teaching in a building where it feels like the College of Mortuary Science is housed.
But here's the kicker: a few years ago, the Gods of Parking decided to give the students living in residence halls most of what had been the faculty/staff parking lot. Seems the resiflakes didn't want to carry their laundry and grocery bags Way Across a Far-Flung Parking Lot. So, without consulting faculty or staff, the lot became theirs.
This was not received well by faculty nor staff, but we were told to suck it up and deal.
With more of our parking now taken away by these new construction projects, you'd think that everyone would have to share the misery. Oh no, the residents' lot has enough open spots during peak hours that you could play football in there.And woe to those who dare park in those spots...you might get a ticket or the boot.
Where is the justice? These kids will be gone in a couple of years. Faculty and staff will always be here. Why the disparity?
Figure out where the administrators park and take their spots.ReplyDelete
Worth it, even if you have to march across campus...
This is a case in which I would aprove some minor punishment, like keying the culprit's cars.Delete
This looks like an ideal situation for public protest action. Why not get the entire faculty to organize a collective one-mile walk to the central administration building (canceling classes for that day), and call the press? At the very least, it would bring shame on the admins, and cause parents to wonder what's going on.ReplyDelete
Sorry...many, many incoherent typos. Here's what I meant to say:Delete
Be careful! We had some very civil parking discourse at Motor City SLAC after one of our prime faculty lots became a res hall lot, but it still ended poorly for some. Faculty members were upset that we hadn't been consulted or even told about the decision. We just showed up one fall and there were new signs in our lot. The petition asked for transparency, and those who circulated it received some admin backlash. It was asinine...but of course, it wasn't really about parking. It was about the fact that the faculty wanted a voice. Voices are dangerous things.
At the very least, snap some pictures of that empty residential parking lot on your way by, and send them to the relevant administrators. Perhaps some sort of compromise could be worked out, with faculty parking during business and/or peak teaching hours, and student parking on evenings/weekends? I know; far too logical for an administrator to like.ReplyDelete
We've got way overcrowded parking lots on one side of an admittedly wide and busy, but light/crosswalk equipped, road, and lots of available parking on the other side (about a 15-minute walk to the center of campus, or there's a shuttle bus). The parking office sends us detailed emails each semester specifying which lots fill up when, and where you should head if you arrive on campus during particular time frames. I referred a student who was apologizing for a late arrival to a mid-day class (hey; at least she apologized) to said email; her reply: "oh; I think I deleted that." Fortunately, I could refer her to the parking office's web site, which has the same info. It's not a perfect situation, but on a big campus, a 15-minute walk strikes me as reasonable (it's possible to walk about as far from some dorms to some classroom buildings, or between some classroom buildings. There's also a circulator bus.)ReplyDelete
Ringo on a rotocycle, our campus is approximately 1 mile square and students still drive to class.Delete
From the NYT obituary of Clark Kerr , former president of the UC system: "He joked that a university had become ``a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking.'' [reading more of this, he sounds like a very smart, and sadly prescient, man.]ReplyDelete
Too bad you are not at retirement age, and like that Dalhousie University prof back in 2011, say "fuck this parking bullshit" and abruptly retire, effective immediately.ReplyDelete
You can't beat this. In these sorts of situations, the only thing you can do is come in as early as you can so you can get a spot.ReplyDelete
Sometimes I am sorry I am not teaching at a bigger research university, with a huge, well-stocked library, a much bigger salary, lighter teaching load, a decent travel budget, and a plethora of facilities. Not to mention that I would probably not be living in a shithole city in a shithole state, where the word "democrat" is the worst sort of insult you can throw at someone.
Then I tell myself that if I were, I would not be able to park my car literally right under my office window, so close that I can lock my car from my desk.
The more piss ant my school, the better my parking has been.Delete
At my school, parking seems to be the only issue that gets the faculty mad enough to complain. Low salaries, poor research infrastructure, increased teaching loads, lack of classroom space and an oppressive administrative demands are met with a shrug. "What can we do other than try to make the best of it?" But when faculty lose 20 parking spots because of a construction project, they unite to bitch at the provost.ReplyDelete
Walking a mile does suck so I'm not trying to gloss over Agnes's misery. I'm incensed that my colleagues get bent out of shape because they walk a quarter mile but don't mind being treated like dirt in so many other, more important ways.
My students complain about having to walk 300 feet from the parking lot to their classrooms. As a residential campus, students park (and leave) their cars in all of the choice spots near buildings. Faculty don't live on campus, so end up having to park and walk the 15 minutes from the far lots. And yet, we still beat them to class every day.ReplyDelete
We're losing spots too but we're not even growing. Our enrollment has dropped! But still, the powers that be in the Parking Office took about 40 faculty and staff spots away from our building at the beginning of the semester. Gave them to the students. Someone must have pitched a fit (but not a very big one) because we got about 10 of those spaces back.ReplyDelete
What really pisses me off is how much it costs to park. Faculty and staff pay anywhere from $200-$500 a year for the privilege of being able to park within a reasonable distance from their place of employment. What other 'professional business' would require that their employees pay to park?
I agree with that. We have a shiny new parking building reasonably close to my office, and it is possible to get a spot if you arrive by 10 AM (kinda early for me). But I pay $360 a year for the privilege, and I don't think it is tax deductible.Delete
I'd love to pay $200 a year. At my uni, it is about $1100 a year. At another university it is a more reasonable $500, but of such a great distance that they run school bus shuttles from the parking lot to the campus. In Canuckistan, it is universities and hospitals that hose their employees for parking.Delete
Yes! I understand that parking fees serve as a deterrent, which my university makes obvious by making them astronomically higher for undergrads than for staff. But there should be some relationship between salary and fees!Delete
Holy shit. I pay $75 per year and get an extra parking sticker for the pickup driven by the Lovely Ms. Ben. A parking space next to my building awaits me if I arrive before the crack of 9 am. This thread makes me like my school a little bit more. You've ruined my evening.Delete
I'm jealous. I pay more than $1700/year to park a quarter mile from my office.Delete
I can't remember exactly what I pay, because it's taken out of my paycheck (pre-tax, I'm pretty sure, Peter K.), but I think it's c. $200 for the year. My campus is outer-suburban; a friend who teaches in the city around which our metropolitan area is centered pays nearly that per month.Delete
Holy hell! I'll take my piddly little $300/year over your $1100 anytime, Prof Poopiehead! Guess that's one of the benefits of living in a wanna-be mid-sized town.ReplyDelete
Anything to make a buck, I suppose.
I have to say that this whole thread is making me feel much better about my workplace. 8-minute commute, park right at my building, and I pay $30 a year for the privilege.ReplyDelete
Usually I SO want to live somewhere else, but today, not so much.
We lost a bunch of convenient spots because someone complained that it was "dangerous" for faculty to drive down a road next to class buildings. Had anyone ever been hit? No, but a few years ago a faculty member was "almost hit." There are already speed bumps so you can't drive over 5 mph, and delivery trucks can still use the drive. But wave goodbye to 8-10 faculty spots.ReplyDelete
of course the decision was made by admins with reserved spots.
I agree that giving the faculty lots to residential students is silly. Since Residential students need to use their cars the least, they should have the worst lots. Clearly commuters and faculty should be preferredReplyDelete
HOWEVER, do I live in some kind of alternate universe where walking a mile to school is not a hardship, and instead a privilege? Why on earth would you drive only a mile, when you imply in your post that you are, in fact, physically capable of walking?
I'm not sure it's always true that students use their cars less than faculty. As our campus becomes increasingly residential, but many of our students continue to work long hours to afford tuition (as well as the fancy campus housing), we have a good many students who live on campus, and commute off campus to work (and/or internships).Delete
I'd walk the mile, too, given the opportunity. But do remember that weather varies considerably, as do dress codes/expectations, by institution and by gender. If dress expectations are fairly formal (and conform to traditional gender norms), it's easier for men than women to come up with an outfit in which it is possible both to walk a mile comfortably and to teach a class "appropriately" dressed, without engaging in the shoe-change shuffle.
Fortunately, my campus is both large and informal enough that walking shoes are common attire for both professors and students (probably less so for the students, who are occasionally seen wearing stilettos and/or platforms, but such silliness is the prerogative of youth).
Of course, the people who should really get the most convenient parking spots are adjunct faculty, who often have the tightest schedules (and can't always come in early, because they're busy teaching/working somewhere else). But creating reserved spots for adjunct faculty in convenient (i.e. central and visible) places would call far too much attention to their numbers.ReplyDelete
Oh, mathesian, if I lived in a place where there were tree-lined sidewalks and pleasant temperatures, it wouldn't be a bad deal at all. I'm a runner and distances don't scare me. But when I have to wear non-wicking clothes and carrying a satchel full of papers etc., it makes what would seem pleasant into minor torture.ReplyDelete
To put it bluntly, I live in Scorched Earth State.
The temperatures here this week were hovering near 100 degrees with high humidity, so I show up in a flop sweat. It seems ridiculous to carry a change of clothes and toiletries to clean up after the trip.
Plus, I occasionally have appointments before or after classes, necessitating the use of a car (public transit is a foreign concept here).
Thanks to all who offered suggestions and support. It's a silly, first-world problem, but it was my problem this week.
There is a really funny and spot-on short story by Connie Willis - "In the Late Cretaceous" that just NAILS so many of the favorite issues of CM-ers - Snowflakes, Profflakes, Adminiflakes, the Parking Gestapo, etc. I hope others out there find it and read it sometime.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the recommendation. I was sadly unaware of Connie Willis, but just read her account of this year's LOCUS awards and am intrigued. "The Best of Connie Willis" is now on my Amazon wish list.Delete
No one would work at my college if they did not provide safe parking for faculty and staff. As others have said, this thread is making me appreciate my place of employment a bit more....ReplyDelete