Parking. The word that commonly answers the cliché questions asked by Auburn students and administration.
“What is the worst part about Auburn?”
“If you could change one thing on campus, what would that be?”
“What is one of the downsides to attending Auburn?”
As soon as we step foot onto campus, Auburn students are quick to blame a lack of service that we desire as a necessity. In an ideal Auburn world, a student would have a parking spot right in front of their class. They could park wherever they want, leave whenever they want — life would be convenient and easy. We wouldn’t have to play the game of circling parking lots to dodge Parking Services vehicles or risk driving to afternoon classes in hopes of not getting a ticket. That would be very wishful thinking. The fact of the matter is that this isn’t our reality; rather, every student deals with these inconveniences.
But what can we do as students to voice our opinions in ways other than just complaints? Let me start first by saying this: Parking Services is not your enemy. Don Andrae, the manager of Parking Services, is one of the best administrators that Auburn has. He is always willing to work with students, listen to our complaints and think of innovative ways to help students move around campus. If you do not believe me, just stop by his office in the South Quad Parking Deck. The Manager of Transit Services Rex Huffman has the same attitude, also taking students’ comments about the daily operations of Tiger Transit into concern.
We need to continue to provide feedback to parking and transportation issues on campus. Auburn University Parking Services, Tiger Transit and Facilities have hired a consulting firm to perform a Transportation Demand Management Study for all modes of transportation to campus, from campus and within campus.
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On Thursday, April 12th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room 2223 of the Student Center, an open forum will be conducted where all students, faculty and staff can present their concerns for parking and transportation on campus. This will be very different from the normal town hall setting. The forum will use a format where the person will actively participate in providing information on various “learning walls” around the room. They will be tracking how we get to campus, locations we come from and so much other information through interactive tables. This data will be used by the consulting firm, as well as Auburn administrators, to best plan out our future for parking and transportation on campus. This is our time as students to make a difference. Without constructive student input, administration can’t provide solutions that meet students’ needs, so let’s show up.
This forum and study across campus will be the backbone to change: change that will be for the betterment of students, administration, faculty and Auburn as a whole. As you are grabbing lunch from Chick-Fil-A, walking to class or studying in the quiet zone, please stop by next Thursday, April 11. Let’s all voice our opinions as students so we can change the question of, “What would you change about Auburn?” from “parking” to “nothing.”
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