EDITORIAL: Time to reevaluate the parking situation at the SAC for sporting events

In light of the Jan. 16 abduction of a Grand Rapids senior in the Student Activity Center parking lot, new parking lot regulations allowing students to park closer to the SAC during sporting events should be considered.

This could be accomplished through limited parking closest to the Events Center, which is usually reserved for season ticket holders and Chippewa Club members.

Though athletics deems those who fall into this category as being valuable to the CMU athletics program, through revenue from donations to the program, these roped off areas are not usually filled to capacity.

Rather than holding out hope that a CMU sporting event will draw in a big crowd, why not encourage car pooling or limiting preferential treatment to those who RSVP ahead of time?

The truth is, the proximity of parking spots has been one of the main concerns among some students in going to an athletic event, besides the team's record. Having to walk 100 yards to your vehicle in the dark after working out just because there's a sporting event going on next door isn't exactly fair, or safe.

So, with the lack of student attendance and support, are the Chippewa Club members the most valuable at this point? If a spot is open within five minutes of game time, why can't students take over a vacant spot 30 feet away from the entrance rather than 100 feet away?

In addition to accessibility, safety comes into the discussion as well with students parking further toward the back away from spectators. This campus is small, and only so much can be done for  utilizing the parking lots made available, but any minor change could go a long way.

Maybe it's time to look at an additional parking area or facility. Students pay more to this university on a yearly basis than Chippewa Club members or season ticket holders do, so it's time to start offering students the accommodations at sporting events that those individuals get.


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