For commuters with late morning classes it is unavoidable.
Parking spaces on campus have dwindled, making getting to class on time even more difficult than before.
A big factor so far this semester has been the loss of 150 parking spots near the main entrance where the new University Welcome Center is under construction.
As a small campus, space is a challenge, said Dr. Tracy Gottlieb, Vice President of Student Services.
“Parking is congested because of construction. The construction of the Welcome Center at the entrance to campus has taken away that lot and the spaces under Cabrini and behind Fahy,” Gottlieb said in an email interview.
Despite the setback, the University has tried to make parking more accommodating.
“Parking was very bad a few years ago before we built the extension on the parking garage. That has made a difficult situation more tolerable,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb was willing to work with students who have found the parking situation to be intolerable. “If anyone bought a parking pass but would like to hand it back in, I would be happy to refund the cost of the pass. Students who are in walking distance might prefer to take the SHUFly or walk to campus,” Gottlieb said. “If that’s the case, they can go to Parking Services to hand their pass back in.”
She recommended carpooling and getting to campus earlier for easier parking.
“Tuesday is our most congested day. Friday is the easiest. The congestion begins to ease after 2 p.m.,” Gottlieb said.
Ann Szipszky, Parking Services manager, said that approximately 5,000 parking permits were issued for the approximately 3,000 parking spaces that existed on campus before construction began.
“While the number of permits sold is about 2,000 more than the number of parking spaces available, it is important to remember that not everyone is on campus at the same time. For example, students with evening permits are not permitted to park on campus before 4 p.m. and not every faculty member will be on campus teaching every day,” Szipszky said. “On the other hand the number of guests visiting campus fluctuates daily as well, depending on what events are taking place. Guests do not purchase permits the same way students, faculty, and staff do.”
When asked if they were frustrated with the parking situation on campus in the “Seton Hall University Class of 2019” Facebook group, more than 70 students “liked” the post to show their dissatisfaction.
Commuter students in the group were asked to “Like” the post if they were tired of the parking situation on campus and wanted to share their opinions with The Setonian. Ten students engaged in conversation in the comments section about their experiences with parking in the last semester.
Caitlin Delaplain, a sophomore elementary and special education major, was the first to comment on the post.
“In the morning it has taken 45 minutes to find parking and people don’t know how to drive in the parking deck,” Delaplain said. “When you do find parking it’s in the back corner of the parking deck so then it takes like 20 minutes to walk to the Arts and Sciences building.”
Delaplain said that people not knowing how to drive properly in the parking deck created a lack of flow to keep the traffic moving.
“Before every turn, they come to a complete stop and put their directional on,” Delaplain said.
Shawn Brelvi, a sophomore secondary education and mathematics major, commented on the Facebook post with a different view.
“To avoid running into problems with finding parking, the best thing to do is to account for the time it takes you to find parking. That could be leaving your home 5-10 minutes earlier than usual,” Brelvi said through Facebook.
Brelvi now has finding a spot down to a science based on the time of day.
“I find that the Xavier lot has vacant spots for those with 8 a.m. classes and that the top of the parking deck is always open for people who have classes closer to noon,” Brelvi said.
Kishan Modh, a junior chemistry major, said he is also frustrated with parking since it takes him around 25 minutes to find a spot. “I’ve been late to my class every day since school started due to parking. I had class at 11 a.m. and would be like 20 minutes late every time,” Modh said.
However, Gianna Barone, a sophomore journalism major, has a solution SHU could implement to ease the parking situation.
She suggested that SHU should offer the Parker app as a service to commuters. “It’s a free app that big commuter schools have started using to give their students a little more convenience. The app tells you how many spots are available in each parking lot on campus,” she said.
“If they could find a service that tells you how many spots are in each level of the parking deck, or if the app does that as well, that would be a huge help to commuters,” Barone said. She added that the app saved a lot of time for commuters at places like Montclair State University and would keep the parking deck at Seton Hall a little less hectic.
Alexandra Gale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.