Section: News

College introduces North campus overnight parking program

College introduces North campus overnight parking program

On Nov. 19, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities James Jackson sent out an email to North campus residents announcing a new pilot parking program set to begin in the spring semester. Students who are granted participation in this program can park in either one of the two designated faculty lots — one next to Sparrow House and one by the Eaton Center — for overnight use from the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. This change is only a slight adjustment from the normal overnight parking hours, which are from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The optional program aims to ease the current parking shortages on campus, especially with the colder weather approaching. Many students are parked behind the Lowry Center, and must walk long distances after returning their car to their assigned parking spot. As a result, many often park in faculty lots, Village spaces or other student lots and receive tickets. In a Nov. 17 Student-Info email, Campus Safety reminded students of the regulations, encouraging them to reach out for additional clarification.

This new program comes during a year where student parking is significantly limited due to  increased enrollment, and with the South 1 lot dedicated for employees, student commuters and select noncommuters. Additionally, the Nov. 17 email also announced that the Bexley Hall parking lot will no longer be available for student parking on weekends, starting in January, due to the recently announced renovation project

“Parking is a difficult issue on a campus like Kenyon – one of the reasons it is listed as one of the most scenic campuses in the country is because we don’t have vast expanses of parking lots on campus,” Director of Campus Safety Michael Sweazey wrote in an email to the Collegian

According to Jackson, Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas brainstormed possible solutions to the parking issues on campus after speaking to many students individually about their concerns. He then worked with Jackson and Sweazey to come up with this potential solution, specifically to help students who live North, far from the Lowry Center. 

Thus far, 25 students have submitted applications to be considered for this program. However, some students are frustrated about the parking program’s hours, specifically the need to depart from the lots at 6 a.m. 

“The administration has made parking extremely difficult for students,” Sarah Newman ’22 said. “This new rule just shows how out of touch they are given that they think moving your car at 6 a.m. will be any help to students.”

Despite this student criticism, Sweazey and Jackson noted that the program’s hours were chosen because faculty need to use those lots during work hours. Those who do not adhere to these overnight hours are subject to receive tickets for their violations.

“We are taking a chance on this program because we often have problems with students not abiding by the current time restrictions for parking in faculty/staff lots,” Sweazey said. “If we extend the hours in this program, it will definitely overlap with staff parking.”

If students have additional suggestions, they are encouraged to reach out to either Sweazey or Jackson with their ideas. 

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