Special to the Collegian by Eryn Baldrica-Guy
The practice of banning students with night classes from nearby parking lots until 7 p.m., at which point most evening students are already in class, jeopardizes student safety every day by forcing us to walk long distances in pitch darkness.
A great deal of Fresno State’s evening classes frequently last until 10 p.m.
Despite this, university officials refuse to allow students with green parking permits to park closer to their night classes in staff lots, which do not open to everyone until 7 p.m.
Students at Fresno City College are allowed to park in faculty lots beginning at 5 p.m., since, like at Fresno State, most night classes start at 6 p.m.
Considering that, how can Fresno State justify banning students from faculty lots until 7 p.m.?
It simply doesn’t make sense. Allowing students to park in faculty lots at 7 p.m. is useless to the vast majority of those with night classes and results in countless open spaces while we trek to our cars and try to avoid being mugged.
I raised several questions about this issue almost two weeks ago, asking President Castro to remedy the situation. While he promised to “look into [it],” my fellow evening students and I continue to walk to our cars in the middle of the night.
Fresno State officials took to the university’s Twitter account in response.
“You can call to be escorted to your car [and] there are blue safety lights. Campus police are there to help!”
I asked if it would be more reasonable to escort every student to their car instead of allowing students to be both safe and independent by parking closer. Officials had no response.
Is money from parking tickets issued to night students for parking in empty faculty spots really more important than student safety?
If every Fresno State student called campus police officers for escorts after 6 p.m., Fresno State’s unreasonable parking policy would be immediately revised.
President Castro and other Fresno State officials need to own up to the fact that forcing students to park far away from their night classes, while plenty of spaces remain empty in staff lots, is unreasonable, irresponsible and unsafe.
Failure to remedy this issue would make it clear that money, rather than students’ wellbeing, is the top priority for Fresno State.