In the early hours of an August morning, I determinedly waited. I sat in anticipation as I watched a student walking from a building to an overflowing parking lot. Unfortunately, I wasn’t alone. I notice four other students eyeing my parking spot. It was time for a show down.

The Apache Pow Wow published a story in the Feb. 20 issue about the lack of parking for students on campus.

I would like to point out that, to our knowledge, absolutely nothing has been done about this. Here are a few quick facts previously reported to refresh your memory: 9,928 students were enrolled at TJC last semester. There are 2,465 student spaces. 90 percent of tickets written are to students who park in faculty lots.

The college claims that there really is enough parking, but the numbers don’t lie.

But first, to be fair, approximately 2,000 of that 9,928 are dual credit students. However, Fred Peters, director of marketing and public information, said in a 2008 Apache Pow Wow article that there are around 8,000 students on the Main Campus at any given time.

The result is that I, along with thousands of other students, expect during the beginning of the semester not to find a parking spot. It is common knowledge that we spend the first part of the semester driving around somewhat aimlessly searching the lots for open spots like vultures.

One solution given to this problem was that there is a parking lot students don’t “utilize.” It is on the other side of the JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Complex and it is quite a distance from the classrooms.

While the administration may argue that location shouldn’t be an issue, it’s usually dark when I finally get to leave campus, as I’m sure is the case for many other students, and I don’t feel particularly comfortable walking to a parking lot so far by myself at night.

Think I’m paranoid?

According to the 2006 FBI Crime Reports, Tyler’s overall crime index was worse than the national average – specifically violent crimes, rapes and aggravated assaults.

This takes the parking issue to another level.

And I’m still not sure how one small lot solves the problem. This particular parking lot only has 112 parking spots. It isn’t like if people begin to “utilize” these 112 spaces, suddenly everyone will park with ease. That’s still nearly 7,500 students that literally do not have a parking spot.

We pay to park every semester. I think that we should get our money’s worth. I’m not asking for valet parking, I’m simply asking for the appropriate amount of safe student parking.

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