Mercer’s only parking problem is laziness

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Mercer’s real parking problem is that students refuse to be held accountable and they’re straight lazy (Mmm hmm, I went there).

There are always parking spots available, and plenty of them at that. In a survey of 35 Mercer students, only three responded that they had ever not found a single spot. When asked where they parked the times they couldn’t find spots, two students answered “All the way in the back of the parking lot.” When I asked them if that meant that, in fact there had been spots just maybe not the most convenient ones, those same students said, “Yeah, but I ended up being late to class.” Finding a spot you like, and finding a spot are not the same thing.

If you are in college you ought to be able to figure out that if you have class at 10:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday, and the past two weeks you haven’t been able to find parking at 10:25, you are going to have to leave for school earlier. Like the draft, 18 should be the limit for trying to blame other people (or, in the case of parking, inanimate objects) for your problems.

For the students who constantly whine about walking to class in the bad weather, let me introduce you to a few of my little friends: hats, umbrellas, hoodies, raincoats, ponchos and even rainboots are easily obtainable at local apparel retail stores. These garments and accessories keep your clothes, hair and feet dry. In fact, rainboots are climbing the fashion charts and are very much in style (look out Uggs!).

For the cold weather and the snow –and this winter has been especially cold and snowy– consider yourselves lucky. Facilities and maintenance have done a great job of plowing the sidewalks and parking lots so old fashioned snow shoes aren’t necessary. But in the cold, there are a number of articles of clothing and accessories made to keep you cozy when the cold weather hits: pea coats, down jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, wool socks and long underwear are good bets.

Moving beyond the inexplicable unwillingness of students to take responsibility for themselves, let’s talk about the laziness, which is even more baffling. All too often I sit listening to both girls and guys talking about how they need to go on a diet or start working out, how they recently joined a gym and are trying to eat healthier. Invariably, these are the same people that complain about how far the walk is from the parking lot to Mercer’s buildings.

In that same vein comes the most ironic quote in College Voice history. In Amber Zahn’s article “Parking Still a Tight Squeeze at Mercer,” she quotes Gianna Marchesi, a third-year Exercise Science major as saying “I think that the parking lot needs to expand a lot more towards the school. There is no reason that we have to walk that far. We don’t need the scenery to enjoy at school, we have parks for that.” Marchesi adds, “I took all online classes this semester to avoid the long walk in the rain or snow…” Now that is who I want teaching P.E. one day, someone literally too lazy to walk from their car while studying for a degree in Exercise Science.

On another note, many people pay thousands of dollars to attend colleges with beautiful, green campuses –like Princeton and Rider and TCNJ– while Mercer students are willing to destroy nature to shorten their walk by a couple feet. My guess is, if they did ever shorten the walks at Mercer everyone would be complaining about how there is no more pretty grass or trees, saying how ugly the campus was compared to the pretty campuses of the big, rich universities nearby.

The week after spring break, Mercer announced it will be opening faculty and staff parking lots to students with parking decals starting at 3:30 p.m. on weekday afternoons. I imagine it won’t be long before I start hearing cries of: “why do we have to having a parking decal to get into the staff parking lot, that’s so stupid!” and “WTF, all my classes are in the morning. How does this help me?”

Sara Gatling served as Editor in Chief for The VOICE from fall 2009 to spring 2010. She oversaw and wrote some of The VOICE's most award-winning content. She has transferred to Columbia University.