If one looks on a campus map for parking, he or she will find 13 lots for faculty and staff to park in and three lots for commuter students to park in.
Two of the commuter lots for students are found behind the Lloyd P. Young Student Center, and the final one is a smaller parking lot, which is found in the Winchester lot.
Keene State College Parking Office Manager Max Sullivan has been working as the manager since December, but has worked on campus since 2013. When asked if students ever come to the office confused about the hours on the commuter lot signs, he said Campus Safety hasn’t had to deal with people parking during the wrong hours too often within the past years.
The signs on the commuter lots say that permits are required between the hours of Monday at midnight thru 4 p.m. on Friday. Some students often mistake this as being able to park without a commuter lot pass between the hours of 4 p.m. until midnight, Monday thru Friday.
“During the school year, people who have classes need to be parked first, and on the weekends, we understand that guests come so that’s why we ‘lax’ it,” Sullivan said. He noted that Campus Safety gets more complaints that they are “sold out on…passes when students see that some spots are still open.”
KSC junior Diana Coady is one of many students who has expressed concerns over the limited amount of parking for commuters. Coady is majoring in communication and is one student who has a pass for the commuter lots found on campus.
“I live across the street basically, so it is not far, but when I do want to drive to campus, I usually have to drive around and if I don’t find anything, [I have] to wait until somebody leaves or drive back home and walk anyways,” Coady said. She said that she often does have difficulty finding parking in the commuter lots on campus and usually just walks.
In terms of obtaining a pass for the lot, Coady said she didn’t have difficulty, but she knows of students who have. “I always buy mine as soon as possible, so there would always be passes left,” Coady said.
When asked if she is ever confused about the hours posted on the commuter lot signs for parking, she said that she didn’t really understand the parking policy. “I get that people can park anywhere on weekends, but I don’t even know when that starts,” Coady said. “I think [it begins at] 4 p.m. on Friday’s, but during the week, people have told me anyone can park in the lots after 4 p.m., but I don’t know if that’s until midnight or what.”
For students like junior management major Kacey Banuskevich, she does not have the ability to walk to class from her apartment if there are no spots left to park her car. Banuskevich said she has been a commuter student for a full year. Last year, she was commuting 40 minutes to Keene from Hillsborough, but now she is commuting from Jaffrey. When asked if she found parking difficult in the commuter lot, she laughed and said, “Of course.”
“I have 8 a.m. classes, and parking is easy, but for my 10 a.m. [classes], it’s harder and sometimes I have to find parking on the meters,” Banuskevich said. This can have its consequences, as she said that sometimes she is late for her classes when she is driving around looking for spots in the commuter lots and then looking for spots across from Appian Way.
Even on her way over to her interview with The Equinox, Banuskevich said she had a hard time finding parking. “There’s the same line of cars going around the [commuter lot] trying to find parking,” Banuskevich stated.
She also noted that she has seen students resort to parking behind the Pub Restaurant or Campus Convenience. Banuskevich said she has seen cars get towed from both lots as a result of students needing to find parking. Banuskevich herself has had to park in the faculty/staff lots behind the Putnam Science Center and got a $50 ticket. “There have been times that I know I’ve parked where I’m not supposed to and I’ve been late to class and just not cared,” she said.
Banuskevich continued, “It’s very frustrating, and I have been a student who pays for the parking permit and then you don’t find parking and it’s like, ‘What did I pay for?’” Commuter parking passes are $180 for the year. Banuskevich said that this semester, she didn’t bother buying a parking pass and parks at the meters on Main Street.
Banuskevich’s advice for Campus Safety when it comes commuter students needing to find parking on campus is giving a student a warning first when Campus Safety writes down a student’s license plate number.
She said, “…It’s one thing if you don’t have a permit, but I’ve had a permit and still can’t find parking.”
Grace Pecci can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org