Lack of campus parking frustrates students

Nicole McIsaac, News Editor

As Quinnipiac University returns to a fully in-person semester, many students are complaining about the lack of parking spaces available on campus. 

“I’ve basically operated under the function that past 9 a.m., you are not getting a spot in the North Lot,” said Billy Schilinger, a senior film major. “It can be a little stressful because if I miss my mark even by a little bit, I can be almost an hour late to class trying to find a spot.”

Students wait in long lines to find available parking spots in the North Lot. (Connor Lawless)

Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan said there are 4,541 parking spaces on the Mount Carmel and York Hill campuses as well as at nearby off-campus lots such as the Whitney and Westwoods lots. For the Mount Carmel campus, The Chronicle reported in May that there were 2,702 parking spots for students.

The university reopened the Hogan lot as there will be fewer parking spaces due to construction and the proposed relocation of campus tennis courts that will reduce 145 spots in the North Lot. Morgan declined any interview with Public Safety. 

As a result, many students have adjusted their daily commute times to find a parking space anywhere on campus. 

I left 30 minutes in advance for my first class on my first day and was almost late because I had to park in Hogan (lot),” said Katie Mone, third-year media studies major. “For the rest of the week, I left a whole hour early and managed to maybe find a spot or just park in areas that are not actually marked parking spots.” 

Mone also said problems finding spots consistently persist throughout class hours. 

I feel that the 8-10 a.m. block is a bad time where everyone is trying to come into campus,” Mone said. “Then 5 p.m. is a very busy time where everyone is trying to leave and come in. It took me a half hour to leave campus at 5.” 

Morgan Clarke, a junior law in society major who lives on the York Hill campus, said she has been frustrated that despite having the privilege to park on campus, she is instead forced to depend on other options to commute. 

“The school shuttles are not that reliable, so I have to rely on my car to get me to class,” Clarke said. “If there isn’t enough parking, then the school should find a way to add more parking spots.” 

In an effort to get around the parking situation, other students have relied on parking their cars in areas that are not affiliated with the university to get to class on time. 

“The line just to get on campus is at least a 30-minute wait and when you’re finally able to get past the guard gate there is no available student parking,” said Caprice Williams, junior computer science major. “One time I had to park at Sleeping Giant (State Park) and walk across to the school just so I could get to class.” 

Students also emphasized the direct impact the situation is having on their academic life due to the trouble of arriving late to their classes. 

“The first week, it was very stressful and I was running to get to my classes,” said Kayleigh Joynt, a sophomore health science major. “I just sneak into the back of my classes and it kinda just makes me feel bad because I’m disrupting the class.”  

In addition to the lack of availability and the anticipated $90 commuter parking fee for the spring semester, students are now feeling overlooked and neglected by Quinnipiac’s parking system. 

“It honestly makes me feel that they don’t really care about their students,” Mone said. “Having enough convenient parking spaces should be a priority, so the fact that they are now going to start charging us for bad parking is a little ridiculous.” 

Any student with a registered permit who parks in a prohibited space will be subject to pay a fine within 30 days and repeated violations result in loss of campus parking privileges. 

Morgan said students who may be struggling to find parking on the Mount Carmel campus can park on the York Hill campus or nearby Whitney and Westwoods lots, as well as finding alternative forms of transportation. 

Students living in both QU and non-QU-owned housing, including those living on York Hill and Whitney Village, are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the shuttle bus system and to use these lots when traveling to the Mount Carmel Campus,” Morgan said. 

Until then, students will continue to fight for a parking space on campus in order to attend in-person classes.