Matter of safety: Wintergreen Parking Garage should have a guard on duty

Amy Kulikowski – Special to the Southern News 

Allaysia Varnado, senior journalism major, commutes from East Hartford and said she rarely sees security guards around the parking garage.

Varnado has never been turned away from a full garage, but she is concerned about the safety of parking in the garages due to the lack of guards.

“I frequently park in Wintergreen,” said Varnado. “The latest I’ve ever left school is about four, and in the winter it gets dark faster. I just feel like if there were a security guard stationed at the parking garages, especially when it starts getting dark, that would make a lot of people feel safe.”

Due to reports of people stealing cell phones or other things from student’s hands while walking to class, it becomes even more of a concern in a dark, enclosed area like a parking garage. Some students take classes that go until 10 p.m., and whether it is spring, fall or winter, that time of night is always dark.

In addition to the concern of safety at the garages, the lack of security guards monitoring them is unacceptable. It is a hit or miss interacting with them, and the one experience I had in four years was being turned away at the parking garage for not having a parking decal for my new car. Also, I was told the garage was full [which most of the time it is not actually full].

I was then told to turn around and go get a parking decal right away and find somewhere else to park. Because class was soon, getting a new parking decal at that time was not an option. After rushing over to the Wintergreen parking garage, there was no guard.

It’s baffling that one parking garage at school has a _MG_1170 copyguard that monitors every car going into the garage, but at the parking garage down the street and around the corner, there is no guard in sight.

Lindsey Chicione, senior social work major, said she almost never sees guards working at the parking garage. Chicione commutes from Hamden, and even though it is in close proximity to New Haven, she still has trouble with parking. Chicione said, “I always see them writing unnecessary tickets,” and campus police should be more forgiving because parking is already not the best.

Chicione also encountered a guard telling her to turn around because the parking garage is full. “I still go into the garage because they’re never really full, they don’t ever take good track of that,” said Chicione.

According to the SCSU website, a parking decal is not required for commuter lots eight, nine, and the Wintergreen parking garage. However, a decal is required for parking in other designated lots on residential and academic sides.

This can lead to confusion since most students are probably unaware of this. It is not helpful if one lot is full and a student has to park in a lot that is required to have a parking decal if they have not had to time to get one yet, or are using a rental car, for example.

Parking at SCSU must be organized better. All lots should require a decal or not require a decal, guards should be at every lot to ensure student’s safety, and guards should understand the stress commuter students deal with daily of parking on campus.

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas


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