by MADALYN JOHNSON, Asst. A&E Editor
Manhattan College will be updating its overnight parking policy with hopes of making more spots available to those who need them and of opening up more spots for Manhattan College students and faculty in the mornings.
Public Safety and the Office of Student Life is initiating these policy changes in order to provide better parking opportunities for commuter students, faculty and staff.
Isabel Quinones, Vice President for Residence Life and a member of the Campus Life Committee, first announced these upcoming changes at the Feb. 20 Student Government Assembly meeting.
Quinones explained the reasoning behind these new updates.
“It is important to have these rules addressed because due to the closing of the Leo lot, Manhattan College has experienced parking shortages during this current academic year,” said Quinones. “Unfortunately, the people who are experiencing the most difficulty are the daily commuters including faculty, staff and students.”
The college lost 70 parking spaces with the closing of the Leo Engineering parking lot, a space that many faculty and staff members parked in.
The policy changes will decrease the number of overnight parking places available, from 160 parking spots to 140.
In an effort to eliminate the issues that have been occurring in the parking lots, Public Safety and the Office of Student life will sell overnight parking spots based on a pass buyer’s seniority, with seniors having the first chance to buy passes. The policy changes intend to eliminate faculty overnight parking and eliminate the selling of parking passes to “resi-commuters” or students who have moved off-campus into nearby apartments.
Manhattan College’s parking garage has 50 overnight parking spaces set aside for community members who have their cars registered in the 10471 and 10463 zip codes, which students who have their cars registered in those zip codes are welcome to apply for. “Resi-commuters” who do not have their cars registered in those two zip codes cannot apply for the community parking program. The college has these spaces set aside in order to be eligible for state funding for the parking garage.
These policy changes will go into effect for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Senior Stephen Serulle, a marketing and business analytics major, is a commuter student who has struggled to find a parking spot as the afternoon and nighttime hits.
“Up until this semester, spots have always been readily available, which is something I really appreciate. This semester, if you do not get into the garage early, then finding a spot can take some time repeatedly going through all five floors [of the parking garage]. I would say from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., spots are easily found but the same cannot be said from midday to around 5:30 [or] 6 p.m.,” Serulle said.
He also shared an additional change he would like to see to the overnight parking policy.
Serulle said, “The one thing I would love to see changed is the policy of overnight parking for those who do not live on campus. We pay for parking but to stay overnight, commuters are expected to pay even more. I believe that we commuters pay enough and should be allowed to keep their cars in the garage as long as they want.”
Conlan McDonald, a senior Resident Assistant studying early childhood and special education agreed that parking is too expensive for commuter students, knowledge he’s gained from commuting and parking in the MC parking garage.
“I parked in the parking garage in both my sophomore and my junior year. However, this year, I have opted to park off-campus. The garage is far too expensive, and there is plenty of free, unrestricted parking up by Fieldston. In recent times, I have heard that parking is extremely limited in the garage, especially on the floors reserved for commuters. Several of my commuter friends have complained to me about the parking situation, and have had to seek parking elsewhere,” said McDonald.
The school is hoping to resolve these problems with the new updates so students are not limited when it comes to where they can park and when.
“I have heard of some commuters having difficulty and that’s why this policy is going into effect,” Quinones said. “The worst is during the times between 11-2 because that’s when most people are on campus and using the garage. We’re hoping with this change, that problem will be eliminated.”