by Andrea Davis
Indiana, Pa. -- Amanda J. Kendrick, 21, of Blacklick, Pa., commutes to her classes at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She figures it takes about a half hour to drive the 15 or so miles. But that doesn't include the time it takes to find a parking space on campus.
"It's bad when I have to leave 20 minutes earlier than I should have to, just so I can get a good parking spot," Kendrick said in an October interview.
Kendrick's complaint is widely shared on campus. Responses to an Oct. 1-2 campus-issues survey show that parking is students' biggest concern. Of 50 students questioned as they passed through the Oak Grove, 48 percent said parking was a problem on campus.
"I think IUP needs to stop focusing so much on making money from meters and pay-by-space parking," said Kendrick. "They should focus more on making it convenient for those of us that commute and already pay enough money just to be here."
Shawn G. Small, a sophomore majoring in safety sciences, agreed.
"Unless you're here at 8 a.m., commuters can't find a parking spot," said Small.
Nicole L. O'Gorman, a journalism student, said she feels "helpless" over the lack of parking at IUP.
"I don't know who to go to," said O'Gorman.
Other respondents were nearly unanimous in wanting help, and they want it from the Student Government Association.
"I think the SGA is supposed to be responsible for this, along with the other issues we students face," said Kendrick.
SGA President Jessica E. Carson and Vice President Joshua J. Moss spoke to a News Reporting class in Davis Hall on Sept. 5. They said they are working to fix such problems as parking.
"I'm a commuter, so parking is a big issue for me," said Moss, a psychology major in the Honors College. "I hate how hard it is to find a spot before class."
Kendrick said the SGA is not doing enough.
"I never hear about anything they are doing or have done," said Kendrick. "That tells me they obviously aren't doing enough."
Delores A. Keith, a junior nuclear medicine major, agreed.
"I don't really know about SGA," Keith said. "It's not promoted enough for me to know anything about it."
SGA Vice President Moss said SGA members want to help address important issues, but they can't do it alone. That goes for students' parking problems, he added.
"We never received a petition from the students," said Moss. "We want to represent the students, but we need help from the students."
Moss advised students to join SGA's parking committee to help address the problem.
Andrea Davis, a junior majoring in journalism, is from Heilwood, Pa.