Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FAU Parking Sparks Outrage, Possible Protests

By: Nina G. Wills

Contributions by: Gal Kal

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) students seem to have one major complaint this semester: parking.

“The parking situation at FAU Boca campus is atrocious. The University is simply irresponsible for blocking off multiple parking lot sections when there is a huge increase in student population,” Scott Ezra Nettboy, a senior in biology, said.

During the first weeks of classes, students were circling parking lots trying to find a space. Some resorted to parking in the grass, which at the time was not allowed and resulted in the student receiving a ticket.

Due to the shortage of parking spaces and the closing of Lot 23 by the Indian River building, FAU’s Division of Parking and Transportation Services were prompted to create new parking guidelines that permit students to park on the grass in designated areas. Students were informed of these new rules via e-mail on Sept. 4.

Some students, though, are taking action to express their outrage over the parking issue. A parking protest is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in front of the Baldwin House, home of the FAU president.

Jake Ades, a 23 year old business major, is spear heading the protest. He used the social networking site Facebook to start a group criticizing the parking situation.

“I invited a few friends. Next thing you know hundreds of people are signed up. The people have spoken,” Ades said.

Facebook has become complaint central for FAU students’ frustration with parking at the Boca campus. The phenomenon of using Facebook as a venting outlet is nothing new. Since early 2007, students created Facebook groups such as “FAU needs more parking” and “FAU new parking rules BLOW.” The latest groups are “FAU Parking Protest” created by Jake Ades and “FAU Parking Solution” created by Neil Parsont.

The “FAU Parking Solution” group has designed t-shirts that list the top ten reasons why students are late to class. The reason “FAU parking” is listed in each spot. T-shirts can be purchased for $10 and organizers are asking that FAU students wear them on Oct. 13. The group’s goal is to raise $20,000 and $30,000 “to assist in the FAU parking problem.”

Other FAU students have said that the parking problem has been overblown and is not a real issue.

“GET OVER IT! It is not that big of a deal to park farther out and walk your lazy butts to class!” commented LyTysha on the “FAU’s Parking Protest” Facebook page.

“We are allowed to park in the grass, and they shuttle you to campus if you’re parked far away. I don’t see the big issue,” John Broward Atwater, a senior in secondary education, said.

Still, Jake Ades believes there is just one solution: “The simple answer: lay some asphalt.”