Quinnipiac students are driving in circles.
“This is awful, it’s absolutely ridiculous,” sighs a Quinnipiac University senior, who also happens to be a Resident Assistant. She has been desperately trying to find a parking spot for the past half hour, circling a vast sea of cars, with no end in sight.
She is not alone in her frustration. From day one of this academic year, resident students and commuters alike have been fuming over an overcrowding situation at the school that shows no sign of letting up.
To the naked eye, Quinnipiac’s idyllic campus appears to be a haven to those who live and study here, but behind the chic granite gates lays a hotbed of controversy and aggravation that is close to a boiling point.
Over-admission has led to a vast shortage in parking (not to mention housing), with the parking crisis creating a daily war-like mentality among drivers who battle for spaces.
What is being done to calm nerves? Nothing much. No matter what plan the security department initiates, when there is more demand than availability, someone is going to lose out.
John Twining, Director of Security at Quinnipiac, announced new parking procedures last semester in an effort to alleviate commuter student’s difficulties. East lot, a convenient resident lot close to the dorms was closed to resident students, and was turned over to commuters exclusively.
“Commuters need to have cars to come to school, [and thus a parking space],” said Twining, stressing that the need for an automobile and parking is more pertinent to a commuter than a resident, who does not need to drive to attend class.
Resident students have said, “We pay more,” implying that because they pay room and board, as opposed to commuters, they are entitled to more convenient parking. Twining rejects that attitude. “Residents pay for room and board, a roof over their head; that does not include [entitlement to] a parking space,” he said.
Student Government Association President Aaron Black was asked recently what his role was in dealing with these issues. He explained that his office only takes students concerns into consideration and voices those opinions to school administrators and others; they do not make the rules.
“It is not our decision,” said Blank, who added that he too is angry at the disruptions students are experiencing this year.
Twining would not confirm any new plans that are on the drawing board for the fall of 2001. He noted some ideas that have floated around. These include the possibility of restricting freshman automobiles on campus, reassigning and restructuring certain parking lots and moving resident students to the Whitney Avenue lot (which would presumably be vacated by the freshman should they be banned from bringing cars). There is also talk of expanding the Hill Top area, as well as designing a lot on Sherman Avenue or even building some sort of parking garage.
One dilemma that has long stood in the way of Quinnipiac’s expansion projects has been the Town of Hamden and it’s residents restrictions placed upon the school. Many area residents, who often complain of heavy traffic and disorderly college students, fear the idea ofexpansion, as it would impede on their way of life.
Plus, on Nov. 7 of last year, Republican State Rep. Al Adinolfi lost his bid for re-election. SGA officially endorsed Adinolfi, as he had pledged to support Quinnipiac’s endeavors.
Local attorney Brendan Sharkey, long considered an adversary of this school, won the race.
Blank has said that he will be working hard to reach out to Sharkey and Hamden town officials, in an effort to change the disposition between the school, the town and its residents.