It’s no secret that parking can be hard to come by at Grand Valley State University. Looking for that perfect (or even available) spot has often become the source of frustration for many of the 25,325 students on campus. 

The Lanthorn understands that the university has seen immense growth in a short period of time. There are going to be growing pains; they’re unavoidable. This means more students, a busier campus and more cars. However, the university needs to be thinking about the long term. 

What kind of solutions can be brought to the table to allow for easy access to campus? Should GVSU no longer allow freshmen to bring cars to campus? Add more parking lots? Build a parking structure? There are many potential solutions to this problematic issue, all of which have strengths and weaknesses. The Lanthorn urges GVSU to explore all available options.

GVSU is largely a commuter-based campus. A large sector of GVSU students choose to live in off-campus housing or commute from home. The fact that GVSU has split campuses adds to the number of students that drive on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of those students will consistently contribute to the ever-increasing parking shortage on the Allendale Campus. That need for more parking spots has been clearer than ever at the start of this fall semester. 

The university’s upcoming expansions in the form of academic buildings, recreational buildings and housing are commendable attempts to catch up to exponential student growth, but parking should be added to the top of the list.

In fact, the new 16,900-square-foot recreation center expansion will go on the south side of the building, knocking out previously available parking.

Many students have already taken to parking illegally, whether it be at metered spots, parallel parking on the periphery of student lots or parking on the grass. Many students are receiving parking tickets simply because they couldn’t find a place to park. As the semester goes on, it is likely that parking problems will dissipate slightly. However, with an always-increasing student population, GVSU needs to be focusing on a permanent solution to the parking problem.

However, students need to work with the university on this issue. Often, there are available parking spots in lots that are farther away from academic buildings. While this is not extremely convenient when rushing to class, technically, these are open parking spots. GVSU is a campus that is increasing in size. Students need to accept the fact that they may be forced to deal with walking distances that are common at large universities like Michigan State University or the University of Michigan. 

Parking is quite possibly the most pressing issue facing this university, and students and administrators must work together to come up with a solution all Lakers can be happy with.