SMC parking still ridiculous

If homework, tests, or financial aid are not enough to boil the blood of the Santa Monica College students, then parking can definitely get the job done.

Semester after semester, new students are introduced to the horror that is Santa Monica College parking, while returning students try and find different ways to avoid the chaos.

Parking is not an easy feat, especially on the SMC main campus, as students constantly circle the floors of each lot for hours, waiting for other students to leave so they can claim their spots.

While class is in session, students are running up and down the campus like headless chickens because it took so long to find parking that it caused them to be late for class.

Oliver Gray, a sophomore at SMC, said that it does not even matter how early a student comes to school.

“Even if you get one of the permits, which are almost $100, you’re still not guaranteed a spot in one of the parking structures," he said.

The price for an SMC parking decal is actually $85, which some students like Gray think is too expensive.

"[They] should at least be lowered, because you’re not guaranteed a spot, and you’re paying all this money," said Gray.

The price for a parking decal does seem rather high, seeing that students have to come before 8 a.m. for a shot at a space, even if they have later classes.

Many SMC students tend to come earlier and even try rearranging their class schedules according to the time of day when parking might not be as hard to find. However, the question that always seems to arise throughout the years is, what can the college do about it?

SMC student Carlos Enoberto said that SMC should create more parking spaces for students.

There is a severe lack of public parking around the main campus. As a new student at SMC, I twas not able to attend my entire first day of classes because I did not expect to find such a shortage of parking around the campus.

The lots are almost always full during the morning hours when thousands of students attend class. The lack of public parking makes it that much more difficult to make it to class on time.

Certain students have different opinions on what solutions can be offered.

“Make more classes in the evening," said Oswaldo Figueroa, a freshman at SMC.

Others have deeper opinions on the motives the school and city might have for the limited space available.

“They give people parking tickets, and the city makes money that way," said Christian Sherwani, an SMC student who has taken to riding the bus, instead of having to drive into the madness.

“If they expand the parking lot, it would be better for the students," he said. "Allow parking outside of campus like regional parking."

The parking at SMC is going to be a topic of heavy discussion until the school or the city decides to do something about it. Simply directing traffic is not going to help anyone who is failing their classes simply because they are forced to arrive late, if at all.

Professors do not like having interruptions during their classes when students walk in late, but can the students help it if the school or city does not give them a fair opportunity to find a place to leave their cars?

Something needs to be done. How many more tardies, absences, or diminished grades will it take?

“I haven’t heard anything from the college trying to fix the problem," said Gray.

Neither have I.

OpinionJonathan RamosComment