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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Letter to the Editor – 2/20/03

The parking situation at UMass Boston is deplorable. I hate to state the blatantly obvious, but in this case it needs to be said. It needs to be said again and again unless and until something is done.

The garages are in terrible shape (see “Remaining Operational,” January 16 issue of The Mass Media), outdoor lots are full of potholes, remote parking lots, accessible by shuttle, add half an hour to your commute whether you wait for the shuttle or make the trek back to campus on foot. But all these are mere inconveniences I would happily tolerate if only I could find a parking space, ANY parking space.

As a semester parking pass holder, I have, to date, used my pass only twice to enter a UMass Boston parking lot when I arrive in the morning. At all other times I have been directed to park at the JFK Library or one of several off-campus sites. Today, however, was the worst. EVERY SINGLE LOT WAS CLOSED by 11:00 this morning. I’m not picky; I wasn’t passing up spaces in the off-campus lots hoping for something better to open up. The JFK Library, the McCormack School, the Mt. Vernon Street lot, the Bayside Expo Center; all were turning away UMB parkers in droves.

This is ridiculous. First of all, I coughed up $285 (post-fee hike price), several weeks’ milk money, mind you, for the privilege of parking in our lovely UMB garages. Now, I understand the warnings that say a parking pass does not guarantee garage parking, but I am more than a little irked that the university does not see fit to make sure I, and all other drivers, can park within a mile of the campus. I have, after all, already paid to be able to do so.

Second, days like today when there is, literally, no parking, are plain unacceptable. Anyone hoping to leave their car someplace that won’t attract the unwanted attention of a passing police officer must complete endless laps of the campus, waiting for a lot to open. This is a massive waste of time, not to mention ever more expensive gas. And the kicker is, it’s class time being spent driving in circles. I have, on more than one occasion, missed class simply because I could not find a place to park.

Third, UMB is supposed to be a commuter school. I don’t see how they can claim to fill the need for such a school in the community if they do not accommodate drivers. As it stands, if you don’t live within range of the T, you take your chances with getting to class on time. Students looking for an inexpensive education have to break the bank on rent to be near the T. When did cheap living and cheap learning become incompatible? If UMB is only drawing students from this limited geographical area, it shouldn’t be able to call itself a commuter school.

UMB is failing its students. By ignoring the parking fiasco, academics suffer when students are late for class. UMB’s mission statement is unfulfilled as access is limited to those who can afford to live in the area. Those of us who can’t pay for rent and tuition are being left out in the cold. Something must be done, and done now.


UMB student