Art by Samantha Miller
The once-empty lot located directly next to Seaside, across from the Tari Frahm Rokus Field, had the potential to be something far more beneficial, like a parking lot. Instead, it will be a temporary gym, which will remain until the new student arena, “The Mountain,” is built —according to an October 2021 Graphic article. It is not worth constructing in the first place.
Rho Parking lot is home to 563 spots, but these numbers fluctuate to accomodate handicap drivers and electric vehicles, according to Pepperdine Department of Public Safety. These spots are shared between over 1,080 students living in Towers, Lovernich, Seaside, Eden and Krowns, according to Pepperdine HRL.
Street parking proves time and again to be minimal due to high student population and not enough parking. A better use of construction would be another parking lot, not a temporary fitness center.
The daily discourse for Pepperdine students this academic year is, “Where can I park? I need to find a parking spot.” This phrase has been spoken, thought and pondered by hundreds of students, including those living in Seaside.
A recent Graphic article covered the parking issue in great detail, noting that there are 4,100 available parking spots on campus that the University provides.
Students trying to find street parking are often late to class or getting tickets from the University for parking illegally. This issue could be avoided altogether with the addition of parking lots, or even a few parking spaces, in open areas on campus, similar to what the lot between Seaside and transfer housing used to be prior to construction starting.
Student Conflict With Construction
The spring semester for on-campus students living at Seaside Residence Hall is characterized by minimal sleep and loud wake-up calls due to the early start time of the construction happening between Seaside and transfer housing.
The construction has been ongoing for months, with weekdays starting far too early in the morning for some students, including sophomore Seaside resident, Garrett Podgorski.
“I hear the people enter the worksite at 5:45 a.m., every morning, I try not to wake up early, but I do get woken up around that same time,” Podgorski said.
The lack of sleep, constant noise and slow construction occurring is not worth it if students who live at Seaside are getting yet another fitness center that is right next to Seaside’s gym.
The transfer students who live near Seaside don’t have access to Seaside’s gym, so this fitness center would prove to be helpful. Although, if students were getting more on-campus parking, which would benefit a larger population of students.
Not Another Fitness Center
Pepperdine has six fitness centers on campus: The Firestone Fieldhouse Weight Center, The Cage by the tennis stadium and three other centers located in Towers, Drescher, Seaside and the law school.
The only people this project would benefit are students living in first-year housing who don’t have a gym, or if the Seaside gym is busy. Some might agree that this is good, however potentially more would agree that additional parking would be put to more use for a higher number of students.
The new structure, projected to be done by the end of 2021 according to a Graphic article, is unfinished still.
As of March 17, the lot has two small, white, empty tent-looking buildings labeled ‘Pepperdine Fitness Center.’ This construction is not only not finished, but it is also causing a raucous and raising questions.
A parking lot next to Seaside would increase parking availability and eliminate a lot of parking anxiety for students often simply just trying to go home after a long day. Next time the University wants to invest in construction, it must think about the consistent issues students have, even if it’s something as seemingly simple as a parking spot.
Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic
Email Emily Chase: firstname.lastname@example.org