Parking problems plague UMass Dartmouth

By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer

I spent over 200 dollars on a parking pass so I could have my car on campus. While for some this might be a luxury, for me it is a need. You see, I have to drive to work in Plymouth every Saturday to work so I can feed myself.

Despite the fact that I paid 200 dollars to park on campus, at my building, Ivy, I can never find a spot at my building. We have almost no parking at any of the apartment buildings. We have around 50 parking spots for well over 100 residents with cars. This is the same story for every apartment building on campus, with some possibly having less spaces.

I will give the school some credit, as this school year they attempted to remedy this problem. However, its answer to said problem was opening up lots 10-13 for the apartment residences to park in. While this evidently created more parking it does create a lot of concerns.

I am 5’3 and 125 pounds after a full meal. This campus is very poorly lit in many spots, and from lot 10 it is almost a quarter of a mile walk back to my apartment.

This walk is scary enough on the week nights, but if I am walking to or from the lot on a Saturday night it becomes much more frightening.

On a given Saturday night there are hundreds of drunk people walking down to the Dells. As a petite woman I would be flat out lying if I said I wasn’t uncomfortable with this situation.

It’s no secret that sexual assault and rape occur more often on college campuses than any place else.

This campus is no exception. I have friends that have been assaulted on this campus and it upsets me that the solution to the lack of parking in the apartments puts myself and other women at a greater risk for harm.

If you don’t agree with me then use some simple logic. If I were to park in the apartment lot at any point I am no more than maybe 50 feet from an entrance and the lot is very well lit. It is also worth noting that the lot has cameras.

When coming from the library lots, the closest I am is about a quarter mile. While the lots have cameras, not every part of my walk back has cameras, and it is not nearly as well-lit as the apartment or library lot.

I get knots in my stomach every time I cannot find a spot at Ivy at night because I know that the long terrifying walk is ahead of me. It is my understanding that this campus is supposed to feel like home, I am supposed to feel safe.

I do not think it is asking very much for DPS to put a police detail along the walk from the library lots back to the apartments seven nights a week. I do not mean to sound needy or whiney but frankly that walk makes me feel extremely unsafe and I find myself making it very often, especially when I come back to school after working all day Saturday.

I realize that the school created this new parking plan in an effort to help out students and in all honesty it has, and I truly appreciate it because they did not have to open up those lots the way they did.

I am only pointing this out and speaking out because I do not want to see anyone hurt.

The sad fact is that people trekking back alone from those lots at night are at risk of being hurt and I believe that a simple nightly police detail would solve a great deal of these risks.

Photo Courtesy: iStock


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