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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Faculty first, safety second

Published: September 1, 2006
Section: Opinions

Parking on the Brandeis Campus has never been easy for student residents. Few lots are open to those eligible to bring cars onto campus, and parking in the wrong spot can cause an unwanted addition to your tuition bill in the form of a ticket.
This semester, parking has become even more difficult for undergraduates. As a result of the construction of the new science complex, the university has changed the lot behind East Quad (D-Lot before, East Quad Lot now) into a faculty lot to accommodate those who used to park at the science area.
The reassignment of the lot is understandable. What is harder to grasp is why a parking area must first become a faculty lot before it is expanded, properly lit and properly paved.
Peter French announced in a memo last month to faculty and staff that several improvements are being made to the lot: a new sidewalk was built, and lights and spaces were added. All of these improvements are needed on all of the universitys student lots.
The administration alleges that student safety is a primary concern. Parties are cancelled and policies created to prevent students from bodily harm. Why, then, does the administration ignore the blatant safety hazards in the student parking lots on campus?
If anywhere on campus deserves lighting and sidewalks, it is J lot. The student parking area is far from campus, forcing a dangerous walk back across non-university property at night. X lot is in dire need of repaving to prevent sizable puddles from collecting. All student lots could benefit from emergency call boxes that line many of the schools sidewalks.
Surely faculty members have a right to a clean, flat, well-lit and well-accessible parking lot. However, we believe that students, paying customers and residents of the university, deserve the same treatment for their lots. Anyone who has walked in the dark through J-lot, or walked through a puddle through X-lot is sure to agree.