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Signs posted reinforcing towing for parking violations

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Liberty University Parking: The Never-Ending Search

By Hannah S. Teramura

Liberty continues to oversell parking permits this year making parking increasingly competitive, affecting not only commuter students, but also the university’s residential students and resident assistants.

According to the Liberty Champion, parking was a large problem in 2012 when they changed the parking system and oversold lots at too high of a ratio for the inflow of students.

However, with a record number of students at Liberty this semester, the circumstances do not seem to have changed.

Katie Wortendyke, a junior commuter student, has struggled with parking more this semester than any other.

“I hate coming on campus because of parking. It is such a hassle to find a spot near what you need, especially when you’re running late,” Wortendyke said.

On average, it takes Wortendyke 25 minutes to walk from her designated parking lot to her classroom. This often makes her late for class affecting both her attendance records and grades.

“One morning I left an hour before class and it took me 30 minutes to find parking. I ended up being late to class, missing the chance to take an exam which drastically hurt my grade,” Wortendyke said.

Now in order to keep her grades and attendance up, Wortendyke pays for both her parking pass and the fees to park in the parking garage on the days she has classes.

The parking situation is surprisingly taking a toll on curfew as well. Many RAs must deal with students who miss curfew because they cannot find parking.

Anna Willis, a 22-year-old RA on floor 4 Commons I dorm, struggles with this regularly.

“I understand parking is an issue this semester. I have to deal with it too. But we have so many girls missing curfew because they cannot find a parking spot and it makes my job a lot harder. I don’t know where to draw the line,” Willis said.

Not only is parking a never-ending struggle for commuter students and RAs, it affects residential students as well.

“Liberty prides itself on letting our freshmen bring cars. Not too many big schools do that,” Jerry Falwell Jr. told the Liberty Champion.

However, it may not be as convenient as it sounds.

Residential students have estimated that at any given time they must drive around for 15 minutes to find a spot. Students must also frequently alter their plans in order to find a spot on campus when they return.

18-year-old freshman, Mariah Troyer, is just one of the students affected by this.

“I usually don’t stay out past 10 p.m. because I do not want to be forced to park in Zone 4 and have to wait out there for an unreliable bus or walk 20 minutes back alone in the dark,” Troyer said.

The competitiveness of parking this semester has actually been deterring student’s car use, causing parking to be worse.

Students admitted once they get a convenient parking spot, they are less willing to move it.

This is detrimental to the parking situation, making all the convenient parking spots taken with no healthy inflow and outflow of cars.

In the past, they have tried to fix the parking situation by overselling parking decals at a lower rate and creating more parking lots for residential students, commuters and employees.

However, it is obvious work still needs to be done.

While this may just be a natural consequence of our university rapidly growing in size, students desperately need more effective changes in the future.

(Word Count: 575)

WEB STORY:

Liberty’s Parking Predicament: A Student’s Worst Nightmare

By Hannah S. Teramura

Liberty’s highly competitive parking system this year has impacted many of the students either academically, socially or administratively, creating a frustrating dilemma.

With a record number of students studying at Liberty this semester, the search for parking seems never-ending and has affected many parts of the university.

Parking this semester has taken a toll on:

  • Grades and Class Attendance
  • RAs and Curfew
  • Student’s Social Plans

Grades and Class Attendance

Katie Wortendyke, a junior commuter student, says the parking has made this semester more of struggle than any other.

“One morning I left an hour before class and it took me 30 minutes to find parking. I ended up being late to class, missing the chance to take an exam which drastically hurt my grade,” Wortendyke said.

Wortendyke estimated that if she’s lucky it takes 25 minutes to walk from her designated commuter parking lot to her classroom.

Now in order to keep her grades and attendance up, Wortendyke pays for both her parking pass and the fees to park in the garage on the days she has classes.

Curfew Violations

The parking situation is surprisingly taking a toll on curfew as well. Many RAs must track down students who are not in their rooms by curfew because they cannot find parking.

Resident assistant, Anna Willis, understands that parking is an issue this semester. However, she struggles to figure out how to handle it as an RA.

“We have so many girls missing curfew because they cannot find a parking spot and it makes my job a lot harder. I don’t know where to draw the line,” Willis said.

Student’s Social Life

Residential students must also frequently alter their evening plans in order to find a spot on campus when they return.

“I usually don’t stay out past 10 p.m. because I do not want to be forced to park in Zone 4 and have to wait out there for an unreliable bus or walk 20 minutes back alone in the dark,” freshman student Mariah Troyer said.

The closer it gets to curfew the harder it is to find parking, therefore, many like Troyer must alter their plans for safety and convenience.

The competitiveness of Liberty’s parking system actually seems to deter students from using their cars.

Students readily admitted that once they get a convenient parking spot they are less willing to move it. This hinders a healthy inflow and outflow of cars, causing parking to be worse.

While this may just be a growing pain of Liberty, it is obvious work still needs to be done and students eagerly await a solution.

(Word Count: 419)

BROADCAST SCRIPT:

Liberty’s competitive parking system this semester is having an increasingly negative impact on students // With a record number of students on campus / the abundance of cars and lack of parking has taken its toll // Many commuters’ grades have drastically dropped by missing  exams // Resident assistants struggle to track down students who are not back by curfew // Students frequently must alter their plans in order to find a space when they return // This competitive nature of parking makes students disinclined to move their cars / making parking even worse // Students eagerly await solutions as changes obviously need to be made ///

(Word Count: 98)

 

*Photos, video filming and editing were compiled and gathered solely from my own doing. All parts of the Broadcast video were also done by myself.*

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