The driving dilemma

One of the qualities that sets Christopher Newport University apart from the majority of public colleges in the state of Virginia is the size of its student body. Most institutions exceed a count of approximately 10,000 students, while CNU caps its student population to below 6,000. 

This is a factor of CNU’s identity that I believe enhances its credibility and has a tremendous influence on why I chose to transfer to CNU; a small campus population enables students to establish meaningful connections in their community and receive the one-on-one attention from professors that one lacks in a large lecture such as the courses I enrolled in at my last school. 

Consequently, it is not a hassle to navigate CNU’s campus, as a school with a small student population has no need for an intricate, complicated map. Students show great appreciation for this; one doesn’t need to take a bus or hike a hill to make it to their classes in the morning. 

If one desires, one may wake up 10 minutes before their class on the other side of campus and still make it on time with moments to spare. 

Where CNU’s size poses its problem, however, is that while CNU’s student population is small, it at times seems as though the campus is still not quite big enough to accommodate certain necessities; one of which, that many will concur with, is CNU’s limited parking services. 

Every Wednesday morning I return to campus after teaching my weekly dance lesson at a local preschool. I return to campus at approximately 10:45, with my first class starting at 11. 

With my residence hall being Potomac South, the closet parking lot is behind the McMurran building, the next closest being the ROTC lot, and the third closest being the baseball lot; week after week, every space in these lots is occupied. 

I am then prompted to circle the campus searching for an available space in a further lot; meanwhile, my class is beginning and I am still in the process of parking my car. 

Many students, I am certain, encounter the same conflict. 

While one may argue that we should simply arrive at campus earlier and allow ourselves more time to get situated, we all operate on hectic schedules between academics, jobs, and extra circulars. We students have more than enough things to stress about, and whether or not we will be able to find a parking space and make it to our classes on time should not be one them.

CNU is acknowledged for consistently modernizing and upgrading its campus, which is why I am proposing that one of these improvements should be expanding the availability of parking. 

If a location and construction funds could be compromised, an additional parking garage or parking lot—particularly in the vicinity surrounding McMurran—would greatly contribute to the campus’s ability to thrive as students could be assured that there will always be a space for them to park where needed. 

With an efficiency in parking services, efficiency in students’ performance will also coincide. 

And while a small campus greatly contributes to the thriving student body, we must take into account the limitations that this imposes, and accommodate accordingly to make for a smoother drive down the road to success.