While editorials such as that presented in last week’s Campus Times (“Parking Should Trump Park,” March 7) are opinions, as professional journalists I would have hoped you would have examined some of the facts before launching into your commentary on Leo Park. As a faculty member in the kinesiology department, faculty adviser to ASULV, and faculty member of the Parking Committee, I am quite familiar with many of issues you bring up.
Point number 1 – ASULV did not “elect” to turn the space into a recreation area. With the loss of the Old Gymnasium, we also lost general recreation space as accurately noted in Des Delgadillo’s cover story “University Makes Way for Leo Park” (March 7). A number of entities, including Athletics, the Kinesiology Department, and Student Affairs all lobbied for some form of recreation space. Numerous student surveys have indicated the desire for more recreation space. The decision was made by the University Administration, once tentative City approval was granted, to use the space in that manner. While ASULV is supporting the project with exercise equipment, they did not make the decision on its use.
Point 2 – There are limited places to put recreation space, and the number of parking places we would gain by paving over the area considering restrictions on removing the trees and such would not “solve” the Vista La Verne parking issue. The only way we “solve” that problem, or for that matter, parking in general, is to pave over every open space we have on this campus and cut off any additional admissions short of that necessary to replace the graduating class. I don’t think this is conducive to the kind of campus environment that most students are here for.
Point 3 – There are many universities where students are not allowed to park on campus or in some cases, even bring their cars. In dealing with our current lack of spaces relative to need, we are doing the best we can by NOT restricting students from bringing cars.
Point 4 – I am a full-time faculty member on this campus and like many of my colleagues, use the shuttle EVERY day. On Monday nights, I take the shuttle at 10:30 p.m. or later. This is a safe campus, as proven by our own crime (or lack of) statistics. Comparing a walk across campus to a slasher movie is sensationalist and unprofessional.
The so-called “burden” of using the shuttle lot is one that is borne by literally hundreds of students, faculty, and staff every day without complaint. The city of La Verne has concerns about the lack of parking, and moving forward on our Master Plan to improve the campus is dependent upon finding cooperative solutions to our parking situation. Sensationalizing the issue with poorly researched editorials, comparing the decision to “Madness”, and parodying our capacity concerns with cartoons that suggest the University would love to get rid of a few students through “attrition” is unprofessional and uncalled for. Perhaps you should follow the advice of your cartoon when you note there are many questions and seek to answer them, not mock them.
Professor of Kinesiology
Director of the Athletic Training Program