Elizabeth City, NC
Elizabeth City State University’s award-winning student newspaper
Parking Blues: not
enough spaces whetB
student need them
By Xavier Wise
For those of you unaware of the situ
ation, Elizabeth City State University
has a parking problem on campus.
Of all the issues campus officials
must face each year, this is one that
apparently doesn't want to go away.
Although not all parking areas are
overcrowded, it is difficult to find a
space in most of the larger ones. Park
ing lots such as D (Complex and
Mitchell-Lewis) and J (Williams Hall
Lot) are packed daily after 5 p.m., the
time when most students park there.
As a result, many students resort to
using handicapped spaces, "No Park
ing" areas and even the lawn over
Students often awake to find that
their cars have either been ticketed or
towed. According to the ECSU Cam
pus Police Department, officers give
out about 100 tickets and tow an aver
age of 10 cars each week.
The issue of where to park becomes
even more complicated when one con
siders expansion of the campus, an
issue that the university's top adminis
trators cite as a priority.
.There are approximately 2,100 park-
ing spaces on campus. Only 1,100 of
the vehicles operated by the
University's 300 faculty and staff and
800 students are registered.
The problem, then, is not that there
aren't enough spaces but, according to
students, where they are.
The person chiefly responsible for
the planned expansion is Mr. John
Smith, assistant to the chancellor. Build
ings have priority over parking lots.
"We're building more buildings and
the room for parking won't be there,"
Unpaved parking lots were built be
hind the psychology and early educa
tion buildings to handle the conges
tion there. And with a 1,000 seat
auditorium to be completed as part of
the new Fine Arts Building, there may
soon be another parking dilemma.
University officials are also being
confronted with the possibility of other
At the R.L. Vaughn Center, for ex
ample, a new Wellness Center is being
planned which may require that land
between the Vaughn Center and the
Jimmy R. Jenkins Science Complex be
photographs courtesy of Eugene O’Neal
Hope Jones, Miss ECSU, stril(es a regai pose as she waves to tlie crowd
from atop tier fioat during the ECSU homecoming parade.
used for parking. They are also consid
ering converting the basketball court
in front of Mitchell-Lewis dormitory
into a parking area.
If that possibility becomes a reality,
will it sit well with the students who
use the courts? Smith says that if that
happens, it will be because there is no
"There's not a lot of land where you
can provide for parking," Smith said.
He also said that his office is planning
to hire a consulting firm to observe
traffic flow and make suggestions.
Probably the most noticeable area
that needs improvement is between the
Academic Computing Center and the
Complex and Mitchell-Lewis residence
halls. Smith points out that this area
wasn't too congested until the Com
plex residence halls were built in 1982.
This area, known as "congestion city,"
according to Smith, may soon see some
"With the Academic Computing Cen
ter, we're planning to add parking in
that area," he said.
Campus officials are tossing around
many possible solutions. Few of those
possibilities are coming from the stu
dents. But, with some 900 boarding stu
dents on campus, each opinion, based
on convenience and uniformity, is im
Some students, like senior Tara
Moore, would like to be able to park in
front of their front door, especially at
"Females shouldn't have to park so
far away and walk to where they're
going. The situation is not right," she
Many commuter students feel the
same way And the concensus is the
same: almost everybody feels the pinch
of tight parking.
"I think (campus officials) can do bet
ter. I think commuter students need
more parking spaces," seruor Kimberly