Parking At Marian: The Good, The Okay, And The Slightly Not Okay

Parked cars

Zach Peltonen, Staff Writer

Where should I park? As the 2016 school year ramps up, that is the question that is popping into many Marian University students heads and leaving some of them with headaches.

Finding a place to park has become distraction for students like Jacob Garcia, a senior. “It’s rather difficult, I sometimes find myself being late to class because I can’t find a spot,” he said Jacob, a commuter student from Oshkosh, didn’t want to spend the money on a parking pass. Jacob isn’t the only one not paying for parking passes.

Sports and recreation major Javier Miranda, also did not want to fork over the $60 per year fee to be able to park on campus at Marian. “They’re not worth it and way too expensive,” Miranda told the Sabre Voice. This seemed to be a common complaint among the students that the Sabre Voice talked to.

Matt Rose, Coordinator of Campus Safety and Security at Marian, told the Sabre Voice that the fee had gone up from $50 to $60 in the past couple years but that Marian has made it easier for students to pay fines or pay for parking passes. Students can now pay their fines or parking pass fees online.

Parking has been a bumpy issue not only for Marian students in recent years but also for Marian’s neighbors who own homes nearby.

In 2014, the Fond du Lac Reporter reported that residents that lived near Marian were upset with the parking situation on Division Street and National Avenue. Residents were angry that Marian students were filling up the parking spots during school hours leaving no room for themselves to park. In response to these complaints, the Fond du Lac police departments and Marian security tightened their enforcement of the parking spots on Division Street and National Avenue.

When asked about this change and how it was working for him so far, Javier didn’t hold back and stated, “Terrible, because I was parked out on the street for one hour and five minutes and I received a ticket.” Because Marian University is locked in on all sides by residential streets it is tough to balance concerns of both students and residents to make everybody be happy.

Ultimately though, it is the Marian administration’s job to do what is best for the students first.

The options for on-campus parking are limited. Students can try to park close to the Administration Building on National Avenue and be disappointed when all of the spots are filled up.  Or they can park in Naber Hall parking lot and be disappointed when they realize that no, they cannot park in the president’s reserved spot.

Most students and faculty members tend to park in the Stayer parking lot, which can park 373 vehicles, and make the trek from there. Or some, if students can’t afford to pay the annual parking pass fee, choose to park even further away off campus.

The reality for Marian students is that there are too many cars and not enough of the coveted parking spaces close to class.

Matt Rose said it’s not as big a deal as students make it out to be. “I think you’ll find that our parking is better than most schools, where people might have to walk from a mile or more away,” he pointed out.

Maybe students need to change their attitudes and be thankful for what they have. Or maybe there needs to be some parking changes to better accommodate students, faculty, and neighboring residents. If so, what can be done to accomplish this?

Matt Rose told the Sabre Voice that “nothing has been planned to expand the number of parking spots close to the Marian campus at this time.” Plus, he continued, any major changes would be expensive. In order to build more parking lots, Marian would need property, which would be expensive.

Recent Marian graduate Evan Kinney suggested to the Sabre Voice that parking, “should be free to students because of tuition costs.” He added that at Northland College, where his brother attends classes, “they have free parking until midnight.”

While an interesting idea, it remains to be seen whether the administration will go for it.

For now anyways, it looks like we will have to make the best out of what we have.