Art by Ally Armstrong
Parking on campus has a notorious reputation. For those who commute, circling campus in search of that one spot to squeeze in to is a weekly routine. “Pepperdine needs more parking on campus. Finding parking after 8 a.m. is nearly impossible some days,” Vice President of Finance Raymond Mora said.
Pepperdine’s scenic and mountainous campus earns it the nickname of “Stepperdine,” according to students. Though these natural obstacles provide unique challenges, certain steps can still be taken to provide students with a more convenient parking experience. The solutions themselves don’t necessarily have to be complex, as simply expanding certain on-campus services will greatly reduce the issue of parking on campus.
Commuters at Pepperdine need to be more proactive in voicing their frustrations with on-campus parking. Though it may seem that everyone is aware of this issue, the lack of immediate action to address this continual matter stands as proof that students are not adequately expressing their concerns to those in the position to bring meaningful change.
Graphic reporter Hansol Hwang wrote in 2018 about the parking situation at various universities and the implementation of certain technologies to address the growing demand for parking. The innovative approaches to solving the parking problem on college campuses are certainly gaining the attention of students.
Faculty on certain campuses were even promoting apps that encouraged carpooling services by tabling, emailing and posting weekly bulletins, Hwang wrote.
However, Pepperdine poses certain challenges that other universities may not have to face. “I have to walk up a hill no matter where I park. The shuttles are also not ideal as their pickup locations are usually far from where I park, and they take a long time to arrive,” Inter-Club Council (ICC) President Grace Wisbey said.
Pepperdine’s shuttle services have two operating lines, the Blue Shuttle, which transports students around main campus and the Orange Shuttle which can take students to the Drescher campus as well.
The shuttle services circle around campus every 15 minutes. For students who lose time trying to find parking on campus, these extra minutes increase the odds of being late to class.
Some students believe that there is a need to expand the shuttle services beyond on-campus access. In an opinion piece for the Graphic published on September 6, 2016, Abigail Van Horn proposed a university-led carpool system or shuttle service that would take students to and from their off campus apartments in Calabasas to main campus in Malibu.
This proposition would serve as an economically and environmentally sustainable approach toward the parking issue on campus. With fewer cars commuting to campus, there would be less of a demand for parking and less pollution produced.
“There is technically enough parking spots on campus to accommodate for every car, but they are located in remote, hilly locations far from shuttle stops,” Student Government Association (SGA) President Austin Welch said. “The shuttle system needs to be more accommodating to commuters.”
These student inputs on solutions to campus revolve around revamping Pepperdine’s shuttle system.
Though there are evident challenges with proposed solutions to this issue, students should continue to provide their feedback and advocate for resolution through student government and conversations with administration officials.
Proactivity is essential for long-term, sustainable change to Pepperdine’s parking culture. Students should promote carpooling to campus and utilize ride-sharing services in the short-run while also advocating for policy that expands parking availability in the long-run. Without an increase in student engagement, this crisis on campus will persist.
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