Freshman parking is now available on a limited basis

Parking lot Picture by Staff Writer Madison Weber

By Madison Weber ’23, Staff Writer and Social Media Editor

First-year residential student parking will now be available on a limited basis, according to an email from Safety and Security.

The email — which went out last month right as winter break began — said that the parking will be available behind Murphy Hall with College approval, starting this semester. 

Brock Glann, Assistant Director of Safety and Security on campus, has been here for nine years and he says that this is the first time he has seen the college allow any freshmen to have cars. 

According to Glann, the Office of Admissions first suggested the idea as a way to stay competitive, with the majority of schools now allowing freshmen to have cars. The policy change has been talked about since September as a collaboration between the Office of Admissions and Safety and Security. 

Prior to this, freshmen were unable to have cars on the basis of a limited number of spots. However, In the fall, the college adjusted the policy to allow residential students to park in any available residential spots, as opposed to the previous specific-assigned lot system. Glann says that the college noticed the lots behind Murphy were nearly always vacant with many students now opting to park in S lot to avoid crossing the street. Additionally, as a result of COVID-19, the school has spaced classes out more — meaning there are fewer students on campus at any given time. All of this has resulted in a higher number of available spaces. 

However, there is still a limited number of spots so the school has an application process for freshmen who want their cars. The form allows students to explain their own unique situation and why they need a car. “We’ll be taking everything into consideration. Medical issues, distance from home, or anything else. Everyone has different reasons for having a car,” said Glann. 

Freshmen whose applications are accepted will be able to park in W, V, and Z lot (the lots behind Murphy). This change will not have an impact on any other commuter or residential students with cars– as freshmen will be ticketed accordingly for parking outside of their designated lots. 

Glann refers to this semester as a “pilot program”, meaning that they are still figuring out the kinks and trying everything out. Currently, there are roughly 125 freshmen with parking permits, and applications are still open for this semester. As the school gauges the demand this semester, they will reevaluate for the future. With class sizes increasing for the past few years, Glann does say that the school cannot guarantee a specific number of spots to be set aside for freshmen, but rather that the total will have to be re-evaluated every year based on numbers.

Serena Saikali is one of the freshmen with their car on campus this semester.  “Both my parents work and are raising my little brother at home so asking them to drive an hour each way to bring me to appointments at home and back to school would be a lot for them.” Saikali feels like having her car gives her and her friends the freedom to truly explore Rochester and get to know the area, especially because she and most of her friends are not locals. 

Glann reminds students that the shuttle is up and running most of the day, and can be tracked in real-time via the ride systems app. This allows students to avoid walking long distances in the cold and being able to see exactly where the shuttle actually is. Something he hopes Fisher students, and especially the freshmen parking behind Murphy, remember to utilize.

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