Parking Problems in Cullowhee

A new school year has arrived, and students have been busily unpacking and readying themselves for the semester. Lots of cars filled the streets of Cullowhee on move-in day, and most students have now settled into their dorms. Now that everyone is here, though, parking has turned into a problem since it is more difficult than ever for most students to find a space on campus.I live in Leatherwood Hall, and our dorm shares a parking lot with Helder, the nearest dorm. Our lot is decently sized, but given that two dorms share it, I often have to circle a few times before I can locate an empty spot. If nothing is open in the dorm lot, I check in several nearby overflow lots for an available space. While I wish there were more available spaces in my dorm’s lot, getting one has become somewhat of a rarity since the lot is always so full during the week. Part of the problem with parking on campus is that the parking lots cannot keep up with the growth of students. In the fall semester of 2002, there were approximately 6,700 students at Western. However, the current enrollment is 8,396 students. This represents an increase of nearly 1,700 students in a four-year period, and although new parking lots have been constructed, there seems to be more students on campus than there are available parking places. There is no miracle solution to the parking problems in Cullowhee, but several possibilities exist. One idea is to prevent freshmen from having automobiles on campus to create more space in parking lots. Since cars make life easier for all students, though, it would benefit WCU to invest in the construction of a parking deck to allow plenty of space for students to park. Whatever the ultimate solution, changes need to be made to make parking easier for everyone.

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