The most well-known trick for finding a parking place on campus is to simply get there early. But as a majority of Keene State College drivers know, unless you’re coming to the college early for your 8 a.m., coming early to any other class isn’t really worth it. This is because students who are already parked on campus might stay longer to go to the library, get food, or attend other classes, students without permits come early to park on campus, and the important fact that there are more parking permits sold than there are places for them.
Let’s tackle this first issue. There is nothing wrong with students who are commuters or simply own a parking pass wanting to stay on campus longer than an hour and forty five minutes so that they can do work, eat, or go to other classes. But the problematic side of this equation is that, as Parking Operations Coordinator Jazmin Kellis said to Equinox reporters, the campus sells parking passes at a market industry standard of 1.8 to 2 permits per space because commuters come and go and that’s college industry standard.
The fact is that these commuters are not always coming and then immediately going home. Not to mention that a significant number of parking permit owners are students who live in Keene and want a guaranteed place to park. They’re not going to leave campus once they parked until all their classes or work are done. They understand how valuable their parking spots are in the grand scheme of things.
The other big problem that throws off this idea that permit owners come and go frequently is that there is a large number of students, at all hours of the day, who come to campus and park wherever they can and do not own a parking pass. Yes Campus Safety catches plenty of students doing this, and they are rightfully ticketed, but if the rules were stricter and there was only one permit owner per spot, then it seems like it would be easier to catch those trying to sneak into the parking lots. If all the students who are guaranteed parking come to campus like they said they wanted to, then where are the free-loaders going to find parking? Not on campus they’re not.
Included within this system of assigning 1.8 to 2 cars per parking place on campus is the problem that the school is offering parking passes to all the incoming students, even if the graduating class is smaller than the new freshman class coming to KSC. This also ruins the potential for a parking permit owner to be guaranteed a spot.
Our suggestion is for the school to only sell one parking permit per spot. This may seem like it would prevent more people from parking on campus but it seems better at this point to guarantee everyone the spot that they paid $125 for instead of spending $125 only to find a parking spot half the time to drive to campus. Students should not have to come to campus an hour or several hours early just so they can find a spot they were promised. This would also help limit the number of students who illegally park as well as instill students’ confidence in the KSC parking pass system.