Lindberg: Friday’s parking regulations put football before academics

Katie Lindberg

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Parking woes are as familiar to Colorado State University as green and gold. The CSU community struggles more every semester to find parking as new buildings replace lots left and right. Game day regulations make things even worse, and this Friday’s restrictions represent a new level of disregard for student learning.

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Like many at CSU, senior chemistry student Dakota Lorenz lives far enough off campus that driving is his most viable mode of transportation. On Friday, his studies will be interrupted by the University putting ease of access to football, an event with mostly entertainment-based value, above access to academic and parking facilities.

“My plan for Friday is to use my lunch break to re-park my car in some nearby neighborhood, even though a lot of nearby neighborhoods have their own parking restrictions now,” Lorenz said.

While it’s worse for commuters, no one on campus is immune to game day hassles. A few lots are reserved for campus residents, but they still have to move their cars. Everyone else must remove their vehicles from campus parking well before games begin, even if they paid for an expensive permit.

According to official University Guiding Principles, “CSU is a community dedicated to higher learning in which all members share in pursuit of knowledge, development of students, and protection of essential conditions conducive for learning.”

CSU is failing to adhere to their own principles. These disruptions are a clear prioritization of football over conditions essential to learning.

“The most obnoxious part about not being able to park on campus this Friday is the University’s complete disregard for informing students,” Lorenz said. “Luckily, my supervisor was informed by CSU, but not every student knows. I’d guess that most students do not know.”

Specific information about parking this Friday is scarcer than it should be. There’s general information about game day parking on CSU’s Parking & Transportation Services website, but several links offering more information lead to 404 error pages.

“It is very disappointing that football has a higher priority than my math class, and this is coming from a football fan. The University seems to value the football team more than my education.” – Dakota Lorenz, senior chemistry major.

Finding the game day parking SOURCE article posted two weeks ago was a challenge, as it failed to appear in a search for “parking” on their website or “CSU game day parking” on Google.

The CSU Rams official site links to a helpful re-park map for students, but it’s near the bottom of a page otherwise loaded with more prominent information aimed at fans planning to attend the game.

As a professional researcher, I had to dig to get this information and it’s definitely not visible enough for the general community.

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“I park my car around 9 a.m. every Friday, and I do not get back to my car until after 4 p.m, so I would have violated the parking policy,” Lorenz said. “A student attending class should not have to worry about being ticketed or towed when they park in a lot that they paid to park in.”

Even if information had been disseminated flawlessly, students should not have to worry about parking on a Friday when they rightfully ought to be focusing on their studies. Saturday games have been frustrating enough, bringing rec center closures and cancellations of on-campus extracurricular activities.

“It is very disappointing that football has a higher priority than my math class, and this is coming from a football fan. The University seems to value the football team more than my education,” Lorenz said. Because his supervisor also has to be off campus early, his Friday afternoon research meeting was canceled, too.

Football itself is not a bad thing, and there’s nothing wrong with being a proud Ram. Sporting events are great opportunities for community and camaraderie. Likewise, the loss of a parking lot for a new building isn’t automatically a negative thing. At times, our fast-growing community must endure growing pains for the sake of future students.

Disruptions to classes and other academic pursuits, however, are not pains that reasonably ought to be endured. CSU has a responsibility to adhere to their own principles and re-evaluate their approach to game day parking, this time remembering why students are here: to learn.

Katie Lindberg can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online at @quantumCatnip.