Letter to the Editor: A Commuter’s Outrage

Dear Editor:

My name is Mrs. Laura Abercrombie. I am going to be a senior in the fall as a Secondary English Education major and have been a full-time, commuter student at the University of Tampa since I started here in 2005. This was my first choice school for the small class sizes, incredible faculty and the attention to my education as a student deciding not to live on campus. I have had a remarkable experience here, until now. I feel I am writing in behalf of most commuters when I say that we are being completely ignored.

You must be well aware that parking on campus, before all the construction, was very limited. Which begs the question: why remove campus parking spaces when the universities’ incoming freshmen classes are only getting bigger? Why remove them at all? They were not being under used by any means. I personally, along with many of my friends who are commuters have had to drive around campus for up to an hour just to find a spot. With gas prices the way they are is it fair to us to remove 2/3 of the parking on campus without providing more?

This problem isn’t just on campus parking, but extends to the Thomas Parking Garage which should (in conjunction with on campus spots) provide ample parking for commuters. When I was a freshman I did what I was told and parked in the West Parking Garage. In my experience the freshmen park wherever they want, especially Thomas Parking Garage, without any consequences (which commuters have also complained about) thus adding to the parking crisis. With the removal of 2/3 of the campus parking spots, is there going to be anyone to stop the largest incoming freshman classes from parking where they’re not supposed to?

If there is going to be less parking on campus, who is going to make the parking garages safe? Did you know there is little to no lighting in both West and Thomas Parking Garages at night? Do you realize how scary and dangerous these are for me, a young woman?

This building project (which in my personal opinion, will get far less use than the parking spaces taken away because of it) is taking precedence over approximately 900 students’ needs. As commuters we are being wholly disregarded. We are paying to come to this university, to have an educational experience and also feel a part of the University of Tampa community. Due to the decision to ignore us we’re being shut out of exactly why we chose to come here.

I loved this school from the moment I set foot on campus 3 years ago, but I don’t think the feeling is mutual since I don’t live on campus. If I weren’t already so heavily invested here, I’m afraid that I would transfer quickly to USF. I do think you should know my younger brother, a commuter, has decided to go to USF due to his perception of commuter ignorance.

Sincerely, Laura A. Abercrombie

The Minaret welcomes letters to the editor. Please address them as “Dear Editor” and avoid libelous language. Letters are printed in the same language as they are submitted.

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