Each year as the number of Maryville College students grows, parking accessibility is often brought up among students and faculty. This year is no different, and parking around campus is often said to be less than adequate.
Maryville College offers more than 10 parking locations in front of residence halls, lecture halls and other buildings. Though there are a large number of parking lots, students complain that there is a parking problem throughout the college campus, and many agree that the main problem is in the surrounding areas of the Gibson, Lloyd and Gamble Halls.
One sophomore student said, “I think there is a parking problem in some parts of campus, but not all parts of campus. I’ve had parking issues this year mainly at Gibson. Last year, in Copeland, I didn’t have any trouble.”
Another senior student believes one way to solve this potential parking problem is to “go back to certain lots for certain buildings, or add another lot or garage.”
Other students seem to agree, believing that there is plenty of empty space around Gibson, Lloyd and Gamble that could be used for parking. Emma Mikles, a junior transfer, argues in favor of adding a lot. “There is nowhere near enough front parking for four floors [of Gibson, Lloyd, Gamble and, even, Davis].”
Sophomore student and Gibson resident Abigail Dowell shared that she feels uncomfortable and scared as a woman having to walk farther to her residence hall. Dowell says, “At night, when my hands are full and my feet hurt from work–I don’t like it.” Dowell adds that last year, her car was accidentally backed into because the only parking lot available to her was “so skinny, no one [could] get anywhere.”
President Bryan Coker has a different take on this parking crisis. Coker said, “We do not have a true parking problem at MC–what we have is a convenient parking problem.” Coker said that while students may not have access to parking directly in front of their residence hall or classroom, several parking spots are still available.
As for feeling unsafe, he advised that “students and employees [that] may not be comfortable walking around campus at night…should always call Campus Security for an escort.”
Coker concluded, “I understand that some students believe that a small college should come with convenient parking, and in response, I’ll remind everyone that even our farthest parking spaces are really not far away.”
Of course, if at any point a student or faculty member feels unsafe, they should notify a residence assistant or director, faculty member, campus security or even an emergency dispatcher, if there is an immediate crisis.