Living off campus can have its pros and cons, but this year is different from any other. Due to construction, NSU closed two main parking lots in the residence halls. The parking lot located in front of the Athletics building used to be for athletes, but it is residents only since last September. Where do athletes park now?
As a commuter student-athlete, I have workouts at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Since I cannot park in the lot next to Athletics, where the gym is located, I park in the UC parking area and walk to workouts in the dark. Luckily, I feel very safe at NSU, but walking alone in the dark is no fun. A lot of athletes live off campus and have practice in the morning, and struggling to park should not be something to worry about; but it is.
In the past, the parking lot that is now for residents only, used to be for athletes only. Athletes had a two-minute walk to the weight room. Due to the changes that took place over the summer, athletes must now park in the UC parking lot, which is a 7-minute walk to the weight room. However, we hardly-ever are lucky enough to find an empty space in the UC parking lot, because it is packed. In the afternoons, the closest you can find to the athletics building is the parking garage, which is a 12-minute walk. Athletes have extremely busy schedules and must always be on time for practices and meetings, and that is why we care so much about the parking issue.
The afternoon is the hardest time to park. I have a meeting every Monday from 12-1 in the Mailman-Hollywood building, and it is almost impossible to find parking in that area. Until last year, I could arrive at Nova around 11:50 and I would be on time for my 12 o’clock meeting. Now, I have no choice but to arrive around 11:20 and spend almost half and hour trying to find somewhere to park, and I am not the only one. I have talked with many athletes and commuters, and they all said it is very hard to find parking in the afternoon.
I understand NSU is expanding and I am very proud of it. During my four years at Nova, I have seen the university grow tremendously. However, I do not think it is fair for commuters to circle around parking lots for half an hour, or for athletes to walk in the dark on their way to workouts. I hope NSU can come up with a solution soon, because this issue affects a lot of students and they deserve to be heard.