Posts Tagged parking
I wrote the following speech for a high level IU administrator to deliver at the 2001 commencement. Then I decided to share it with you readers instead.
Congratulations on reaching this milestone. Four or five (or in some cases six or more) years ago, you arrived in Bloomington to attend Indiana’s university, IU. For some reason you chose the remote Bloomington campus instead of our new main campus in Indianapolis.
We’re not sure how you lost the directions, because we have been making all major announcements from our media headquarters at the IUPUI campus an hour north of here, including some major announcements concerning our athletics programs in Bloomington. Of course, our general rule is that sad firings are announced in Indy, happy hiring announcements made in Bloomington.
Be that as it may, we are pleased you have completed your degree program and are moving on from Bloomington. This mass exodus will help free up apartments and dorm rooms for this fall’s incoming class, which probably will be the largest class in IU history.
There will not be enough dorm rooms or on-campus apartments for those who wish to live on campus, so we will arbitrarily reject all graduate students who apply to live on campus, in particular those who are moving here from Japan. They will be encouraged to live on the streets for the first several months until they find accommodations.
Enough of this focusing on the future. It is time to reflect upon the past and think about all the things that have happened in your time here. For example, did you realize that no large open space at IU has gone without construction while you were here? It took awhile, but we finally managed to dig into Woodlawn Field during spring break — so this summer it will be as muddy as Dunn Meadow. Amazingly, the Arboretum recovered from its sprinkler installation fairly quickly, although if you look closely you can see where some of the pipes were buried.
We’ve also managed to hang on to some of our other traditions — every April, like clockwork, we turn on the heating system and turn off the air conditioner, while in November we turn on the air conditioner and turn off the heat. With regularity like this, you will never need Milk of Magnesia, just lots of sweaters in the winter to help keep your fingers from turning blue.
You should also remember IU’s greatest tradition: parking operations. IU has managed to assemble the finest staff in the state, collecting $1.7 million a year from people who have parked illegally. This compares to the entire city of Indianapolis, which collects only $3 million a year from a population base 10 times larger. We can be proud of the efforts of these fine men and women, some of whom park illegally for lengthy periods of time in a valiant effort to ticket the rest of us. But for some reason, they never seem to get parking tickets.
Now a comment about our student body government: A corner appears to have been turned! We have now had a few clean IUSA elections in a row. Unethical behavior by student leader candidates is at an all-time low. We are striving to eliminate all unethical behavior in the future, but until we can manage to change the rules governing the fee review committee, the IUSA president will still chair the committee that decides what fees students are charged, including, conveniently, the fee that IUSA charges.
Which brings me to a closing thought; this would not be a commencement address if I did not ask you to remember IU as you continue through life. We ask that you keep your mailing address on file with the IU Alumni Association and with the IU Foundation, as they will mail you special announcements about alumni and foundation events. Examples of such events include golf events at $85 per person and special fundraising campaigns to help boost the Bloomington Academic Endowment Campaign over its $350 million goal. We ask that you make your checks payable to the “Indiana University Foundation,” and mail them often, or remember to donate frequently online. Remember, every cent counts.
Thank you for your attention and congratulations on your graduation. We know that your time here was well spent.
IU needs to focus on becoming more consumer-oriented when it comes to services on this campus. As an incoming graduate student, I have had experience at two other universities and, while neither was perfect, both were far better at providing parking, athletic tickets and student ID cards than IU has been.
Last summer I visited Bloomington twice to find an apartment and to become oriented to the IU experience. While visiting the campus, my greatest challenge was not actually parking, but getting the visitor parking permit. Once I got to parking services, I had to tell them my name and my license plate number, as well as which building I was planning to visit. In exchange for all the information I gave the folks in the office, I had to pay $3 for a visitor parking permit that was good for only one day.
One would think that IU would be interested in welcoming visitors to campus and to make a positive impression to those visitors. The current method of giving out visitor parking permits surely fails this test.
Another place where IU fails to be consumer-oriented, both to visitors and to students alike, is the athletic ticket office. When one of my friends and I decided that we wanted to see one of the upcoming football games, I called the ticket office. One minor hitch — if I wanted to buy student tickets, I had to go to the athletic ticket office. So I went to Assembly Hall and parked my car, only to discover that I had parked on the wrong side of the building.
After walking around the building I entered the north doors looking for the ticket office. The sign indicated that I needed to go to the elevators, but did not say what floor I needed to visit. It turns out the athletic ticket office is located in the basement of Assembly Hall. The elevator doors didn’t open for me when it finally creaked to the basement — I had to press the “Open Door” button.
To top it off, the athletic ticket office held an inquisition that made parking services look like a bunch of amateurs. In order to get two football tickets, I had to supply my name, address, phone number and social security number. I guess it was not enough for me to show my friend’s and my student ID cards.
Why does IU make its students go find some office in the basement of Assembly Hall, when they could sell student tickets in the Indiana Memorial Union? Wouldn’t that make a tremendous amount of sense? Perhaps a one-stop ticket office for all sorts of tickets could be put in the Union, thus making at least that aspect more consumer-friendly for both students and visitors alike.
I could rant and rave about the registration procedures, the worst I have encountered at the three universities I’ve attended, but I will not. Instead I want to say something about the inconvenience of the placement of the registration office vis-a-vis the campus ID office.
As a new graduate student, I got to register in Franklin Hall the Thursday before classes began. My next priority was to obtain my student ID at Ashton Center.
It makes absolutely no sense to put these two offices a mile and a half apart. Well, maybe they’re not quite a mile and a half apart, but it sure is one heck of a long walk on one of those hot and humid days that seem to characterize August in Bloomington.
Please, couldn’t IU at least put these two office in relatively close proximity? Now that would be consumer-friendly.
By Adam Lederer
Business College Dean Bruce Forster decided to make everybody’s life more difficult this summer.
He had “The Fence” installed at 15th and Ivinson.
Purportedly the fence was installed because of the threat posed to human life by cars and pedestrians mixing in the business parking lot.
I’m not kidding.
One has to wonder how he feels about people crossing the street or parking at Wal-Mart as students get back to town.
In an issue of the Summer BI, Forster cited different situations that had recently occurred, including:
Children too small to be seen in rearview mirrors crossing through the parking lot;
Students blocking moving cars; and
Bicycles suddenly “swooping” behind cars backing up.
Perhaps Jaque Buchanan, a Biz College executive staff assistant had the scariest incident — nearly backing into somebody in a wheelchair.
But are these incidents justification for blocking students and other pedestrians from crossing through the parking lot?
These incidents happen in every parking lot and around Prexy’s Pasture.
How many times have you seen somebody, or even you, back up without looking?
It certainly happens to me most times that I go for a walk.
The problem here is not the pedestrians, but the idiot drivers who do not look.
Forster killed the messenger instead of fixing the problem.
He pleads that the shortcut saved students only 20 to 30 feet a trip.
He left out that it saves each pedestrian, student or otherwise, 20 to 30 feet a trip.
When you consider the 2,200 students who are expected to live in the dorms this fall the numbers become staggering.
The vast majority of the students cross the intersection and through the Biz lot at least twice a day — for good measure 2,000.
That’s 4,000 trips a day, at about 25 feet a trip, or 110,875 feet total. That’s 36,958 yards, or, for those of us imagination challenged, 21 miles.
Assuming you can walk four miles-an-hour and maintain that pace, that’s five and a quarter hours of time Forster is causing students to waste.
Remember that most people who live in the dorms make multiple trips across the parking lot everyday, so the numbers are actually a lot higher.
But the parking lot in question only has 85 parking spaces.
If we’re lucky, each one of the 85 cars that parks in the lot daily carries two people for a total of 190 people who get to park a few feet closer to their ultimate destination.
Isn’t funny that Biz Dean Forster is one of those lucky few?
Forster needs to remember that the students who make up the majority of the pedestrians crossing the parking lot are also the people who drive this university.
If either pedestrians or cars must be eliminated, I think the cars should go. However, I think there’s plenty of room for both.
“The Fence” should go.
Adam Lederer is a graduate student in political science minoring in environment and natural resources. He earned his bachelor’s from UW in 1996.