By Jaclyn Corrado
In a frantic effort, Heather drove down Nicolls Rd. only to get stuck in traffic due to icy roads and an accident. Upon entering the College campus, she realized how late she was and decided to park her car in the closest lot and get there on foot to avoid the inevitable search and wait for a good parking spot. The tremendous amount of snow from the night before was all over campus and still had not been plowed. With the snow up to her knees and her feet already wet, Heather walked all the way across campus to get to class.
Heather is not the only one who had a rough start that morning, Suffolk’s Ammerman campus was packed with students searching for spots and plowing their way through the snow. Even without the weather problems parking seems to be an increasingly difficult situation for students at the College. It has become a major issue for students who have enough on their hands with school already. . “I would leave an hour early to get to class on time for a reasonably early class, get to the parking lot and have to prowl around for literally 30 – 45 minutes. Its stressful enough being a college student the LAST thing I want to worry about it where I am going to park my car to get to class on time and focus,” said Emily Mcgowan a currently enrolled SUNY Suffolk student. The Selden campus is the largest, main campus of The College but seems to be the most packed. Parking seems to be suddenly more problematic due to the huge amount of students now attending community colleges, even more so in times of economic difficulty. Tickets are received daily by students parking on the lawn or in faculty parking in an effort to get to class on time. Complaints towards parking also stem from lack of security and vandalism or carelessness of other students. More cameras and security procedures might be a necessary change at the College. Shannon Galasso, a student at the college, told me her story of parking troubles. “I went to school and finally found a spot next to a charcoal gray car. Later, when I came out of class, I returned to my car to find a huge charcoal gray scratch on the passenger side. I was so angry I’ve only had that car for five months.” Numerous reports of car theft and violence erupt from the parking lot as well. Accidents happen to frequently from students speeding through the parking lots. “They took away the stop signs and put yield signs so people feel like they don’t need to stop,” said Anthony Cavalierre, a student at the College.
With that much being said, the incredible amounts of snow that hit long island this winter did not help the issue. The school was closed for one day due to the snow but when re opened students were faced with even less parking from piles of snow and walks across campus in the cold. Plows did their best in the parking lots but were unable to clear the walkways on campus of snow. Waiting fifteen minutes to find a spot followed by a fifteen minute walk in the snow to your classroom leaves students frustrated and full of complaints. When the snow begins to melt parking lots form huge puddles! Students are forced to park in puddles and soak themselves in order to get to class! Heather Mcgee, a Suffolk student, recalled her terrible experience the morning after long island was hit with 12 inches of snow. “The sidewalk wasn’t plowed so I had to choose between sliding across the grass on a sheet of snow, down a hill, or waiting another 30 min. to find a decent parking spot. It’s just ridiculous it takes forever to find a spot and an hour to walk to class.”
When Heather made it to the Smithtown Science building dripping from the cold snow she raced up the stairs and prayed she had time to finish her mid-term still. When she reached her classroom, a note on the door read, “Class is CANCELLED for today.” Extremely frustrated yet somewhat relieved at the same time, Heather turned around and made the trip back to her car.