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September 17, 2008

by Kyle Ragins

Today, CMC Students received an email from Dean Jeff Huang explaining that they are going to start giving tickets to CMC students not parked in the CMC-designated lots. The email, while officially acting as a reminder for students to register their cars, also highlighted the increasingly horrible parking situation at CMC.

Dean Huang admits that, "It’s clear that the areas around North Quad and the Keck Science Center are often full," leaving the suggestion that students park in the "the Sixth Street Lot (near the Children's School)," which is "completely vacant most days." Well, Dean Huang, I've got news for you, there is a reason that the sixth street lot at the Children's Center is vacant: IT IS NOT NEAR ANYTHING! It would be ridiculous to suggest that North Quad residents park in the Children's School lot; it is at least a quarter-mile walk between the two. But Dean Huang probably hasn't noticed this, as they have now blocked off the entire Bauer parking lot for Faculty and Staff, leaving him with close and convenient parking, while the students are forced to make the long walk.

I remember the good old days--as a 3-year Boswell resident--when I would look in the North Quad lot for parking, and if nothing turned up, I would have to park "far away" in Bauer. Now, I don't even know what students are supposed to do, park on sixth street? Really?

The funny thing about the whole situation is that the area around North Quad is not actually devoid of parking. There is a massive new Scripps parking structure that is never full. What would it take to get permission for CMC students to park in that lot? $10,000 a year? $20,000? That is not even half a single student's tuition, and there are over 1,100 students at CMC now. It seems to me that it would be worth it. But apparently, a soothing fountain, outside our computerless new computer lab is more important than convenient parking for students--somehow a soothing fountain is a completely reasonable cost while convenient parking is not. Students actually miss class time because of a long walk from a parking lot, or extra time spent searching for spaces, reducing the value of their educational experience. I'm not sure when the last time was that a student missed class because they weren't sufficiently soothed by moving water during their campus computing experience.

All I can say is that I am glad to be a senior now, and living at the apartments so I don't have to deal with this parking mess, but you can rest assured that I will cry bitter tears of sympathy for my North Quad brothers and sisters I have left behind. Unfortunately, my tears are unlikely to make a soothing enough sound for Pam Gann to replace the fountain outside of Ryal lab to free up money to buy us some Scripps parking.

For your info, the email from Dean Huang is pasted below.

Dear CMC Students,

Now that all the Claremont Colleges are fully operations for the fall semester, I wanted to remind you that very soon the Claremont Colleges will begin parking enforcement. Some of the Colleges may already be issuing tickets. If you have a vehicle at CMC, please be sure that it is registered with Campus Safety and parked in a CMC parking lot. I’m particularly concerned about those CMC students who are parked in the Pomona College lot due west of Claremont Hall. We do not have an intercampus parking agreement, and so you need to park in a CMC lot.

Since the start of the academic year, the folks at Facilities & Campus Services have been conducting a parking survey. Twice a day, they look at the number of spaces in each lot. It’s clear that the areas around North Quad and the Keck Science Center are often full. However, the Sixth and Mills Lot has averaged 20-30 spaces open, and the Sixth Street Lot (near the Children’s School) is completely vacant most days. Both lots have lighting, securing cameras, and emergency phones.

Also, the City of Claremont has strict regulations about parking on City streets between 2 and 6am. 

You can find the City’s regulations here:

So please be careful where you park.

Best wishes,

Jeff Huang

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