Airing my grievances


Graphic by Ashley Averill

Parking at OU will be one of the key elements in my inevitable demise.

Ashley Averill

Ah, Oakland University — home to the Golden Grizzlies, where students come to learn, socialize and partake in the many clubs, organizations and sporting events available on campus, then graduate and go spread their wisdom  and impact across the globe … That is, unless they can’t find a parking spot meaning they can’t do any of that, in which case they’re *HONK*ed.

Oh, but “parking is the best it’s been in years!” Yeah, sure, and I’m the bloody Queen of England. I’d like to Thanos-snap away half of my parking competition.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Oakland — really, I do. I have had the most wonderful professors, I actually enjoy coming to class and for a commuter school, there are so many ways to get involved.

It’s just that I break out in hives and begin hyperventilating every time I remember that, in order to do any of that, I have to find a spot to park.

In fact, the water main break last Thursday was a beautifully poetic metaphor for all the tears I’ve cried as I fall asleep at night knowing I’ll have to brave the lots the next day.

“Wow, Ashley, crying over parking is like, super unhealthy. Are you stressed? You should take advantage of the free therapy on campus.”

Gee, thanks, Karen. I already have an appointment and the earliest I could get was March 20, 2020 … and that’s assuming I can find parking that day to make my appointment.

I’m not going to pretend like I know the ratio of students to realistic walking-distance parking spots but … OH WAIT, I DO!

Like the sane college student that I pretend to be, I used Google Maps to look at campus and proceeded to count the number of lots and parking spots that were within a realistic walking distance from the Oakland Center, not including overnight lots or handicapped spaces.

For the over 19,000 students and hundreds of professors and faculty at OU, there are only 7,832 regular parking spots within 500 meters in any direction from the center of campus, the OC.

The second day of class this semester, I saw two different car accidents of students just trying to maneuver P1 and find a spot. I have almost been hit, rear ended or backed into several times. It gives me so much anxiety.

I walked to my car last week to get my jacket and I was spot-stalked by two different people — one of them even flipped me off when said I wasn’t leaving. I BEG YOUR PARDON?! I EARNED THIS SPOT, ASSHOLE!

Maybe instead of dropping $40 million smackeroos on the South Foundation Hall renovation — which, let’s be honest, can wait another year or so, last time I checked it wasn’t falling apart just yet — OU would listen to its students for once — you know, the ones who are pretty much footing the bill and paying roughly 80% of its revenue from yearly — and give us what we really need, MORE PARKING! *Sips tea.*

I don’t need the OU Police Department teasing me every morning with their, “looks like there’s two spots left in P1 and 100 spots open in P-Way-Too-Fing-Far.”

By the time I actually get to campus, they’re gone, and if I’m driving around looking for a spot, I’M NOT ON MY PHONE SCROLLING THROUGH TWITTER!

I’ve decided that the next time I see one of those green overnight spots open next, I’m taking it and living out the rest of my senior year between back of my Jeep, the OC and Kresge.

But until that day comes, I’ll be crying in the corner of P-1 waiting for my spot on the therapy waitlist.