To the Contrary

Lack of parking space puts Winthrop students at risk

As a student at Winthrop University, I am writing this to express my outrage concerning the lack of parking for Winthrop resident students.

The Rock Hill community and the parents of students living on campus need to be aware of the dangers Winthrop students face as a result of the parking situation.

It seems as though university administrators are more concerned with the financial income brought in by the exorbitant amount of parking tickets issued than our safety.

The new construction on campus is definitely a great sign of growth and improvement for Winthrop students, but is it worth the cost of our safety? The construction has taken away a great amount of parking space for Winthrop students as well as faculty and staff. Now, the loop in front of Wofford and Richardson halls, the side Wofford lot, all of resident parking in front of Lee Wicker, Phelps, and Margaret Nance are over capacity. In fact, even the American Legion lot and the secluded Founders Credit Union lot are constantly filled beyond capacity.

The Legion lot is across the railroad tracks, away from any buildings and right beside the busy traffic of Cherry Road. It just isn't a safe place to be at night.

Report of armed robbery

Why have the powers that be at Winthrop not made any effort to see that students have adequate parking? Just this week, students received a campus e-mail alert regarding a reported armed robbery in the parking lot area close to Alumni Drive. Students said two men pulled out a shotgun and robbed them.

Plus, we students have not forgotten all the crimes that occurred last year on campus. Considering this, is it too much to ask to have a safe place to park our vehicles? Recently, after running some errands off campus, my roommate and I came back to campus and searched for over half an hour for a spot. Every resident lot was full. Not wanting to get a parking ticket (trust me, you WILL get one if you as much as look at the wrong space), I called campus police to ask them where they thought I should park. I was told to go past the fairgrounds and park in the West Legion lot.

Students deserve better

I am a young female student. I could not believe they were serious. Would you want your daughter to park there and hike back to her dorm in that area at night, the very next night after an armed robbery? Would you want your child to face this situation every time she leaves campus? I certainly hope not.

I understand that campus police do patrol the area and try to keep this campus safe, but the reality is that they cannot be everywhere or watch everyone.

I pay about $20,000 a year to Winthrop so that I may receive an education in a safe environment. The very least one should expect is a safe parking space, especially with a $75 parking permit. Winthrop students deserve better than this, and I hope something is done to address this problem before someone is hurt or worse, as a result of having to park in a dangerous area.

I'm beginning to believe Winthrop officials are keeping us limited in parking just so that they can receive money from the many parking tickets that we are getting left and right. Maybe they think we need more pine needles.

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