By Laken Franchetti, Assistant News Editor
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced in early January that Stone Lot was to be closed for the spring semester and only be used for special events. This announcement was made through the Student Digest.
This announcement said, “Public Safety has evaluated the number of parking spots that are lost from the Stone Lot and have concluded that there is still sufficent [sic] parking for the number of parking passes that have been issued.”
Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management Jim Biesecker backs this decision to use Stone Lot as an overflow event lot due to the challenges Stone Lot presents. The parking lot is difficult to maintain during the winter months, has inadequate lighting, and challenging storm water controls. Biesecker also supported the decision due to the previous parking spots created in order to form Constitution North.
“In 2020 the College converted a portion of the Stone parking into a 210 space paved parking lot, now referred to as Constitution North. In addition to providing spaces for Transportation and Facilities vehicles, we added over 100 student parking spaces,” Biesecker said. “With the addition of more paved parking spaces… it was decided that the best use of the stone parking lot will be as an overflow event lot.”
DPS claims this decision has not caused a higher uptake of ticketing or incidents with students, yet some members of the study body disagree with this and have been angered over the lot’s closure. Alexandra Bruder ’22 shared her experience with DPS following Stone Lot’s Closure. She had student teaching last semester which caused her to get up at early times in the morning.
“I felt very uncomfortable walking all the way to Constitution (when I could get a spot there) and consistently called for DPS to escort me,” Bruder said. “I reached out to DPS multiple times regarding a better solution (my own spot, parking in admissions at night, parking behind CWI) and was ignored, ghosted, and then rudely told to deal with it… The closure of Stone Lot has definitely caused more interactions with DPS.”
Bruder believes DPS needs to show more grace given Stone Lot’s closure has led to students needing to find available spots. Bruder additionally commented on the availability for spots.
“Constitution does not hold nearly enough spots for the students, even when Stone Lot was open. Towards the middle of the semester, there is no point in having a car on campus because you will never be able to find a spot. Each time one person leaves, six more come to take its place.”
Sydney Kaplan ’22 shared similar sentiments. She discussed how students who live off campus and drive to class take spots that are close to residence halls and houses. This then limits the parking available to students that are living on campus.
“It’s a hundred dollars to park your car here for both semesters, and it could be a lot worse, but that is a lot of money to not be able to park your car remotely near where you live,” Kaplan said. “I know that’s a small problem, but for what people pay to go here and for the resources we are supposed to have… it shouldn’t be this complex.”
The information for the Stone Lot closure was sent out through the Student Digest and not in an official email from facilities or DPS.
“You can say that is them letting us know, but it’s not good enough because the reality is, not enough people read the digest,” Kaplan said. “It’s not hard for DPS to send an email and let students know. I appreciate what DPS is trying to do… but what they are actually doing is not communicating it effectively.”
The college appears to have no intention to reopen Stone Lot for student parking despite the campus response.