When it comes to Santa Monica College’s parking, the students understand the frustration of finding a parking spot and running late to class far too well. But what about professors and campus faculty?
We often hear the struggles that students encounter with parking daily. And for many students, they believe that professors, faculty and staff don’t encounter the same problems.
Journalism Professor Sharyn Obsatz is a full-time professor at SMC. Her office and majority of her classes are in the Letter and Science building. Professor Obsatz will usually park in the parking structure on Pearl Street, which is the closes parking lot to the LS building. If she drops off her son at preschool before heading to work, she will not be able to find any parking near her classes. “Those day I don’t even try to find a spot on Pearl. I just go to the 17th Street parking garage the HSS building,” said Obsatz.
There are four parking lots throughout the main campus and across the street designed for professors, faculty and staff. Faculty and staff also have parking designated for them in the students parking structure, as well on the Bundy, Airport and Performing Arts campus’.
Although professors have designated parking lots, they also begin to be overcrowded and faculty faces the same hardships with parking that students faces.
For the professors who teach and have classes later in the afternoon, parking isn’t as hard to come by. “I would say for the people teaching in the evenings, that a lot of the full-time people leave around 3 or 4, to beat traffic and spots open up. And at night time it’s pretty easy to park on the main campus," Obsatz said.
For some professors, spending time looking for parking is not an option. Professor Kevin Chicas Media Studies Professor, takes public transportation to get to the main campus to teach his classes. Public transportation, as in buses and trains, are not only a solution for students to not deal with parking problems, but is on option for staff and faculty as well.
“We have a big, big, big parking problem here at SMC, where not only students but also faculty members have difficulty finding parking spots throughout the day and it’s very inconvenient. So, taking the bus is convenient in that I don’t have to deal with that,” said Chicas.
Public transportation is a very popular alternative to overcome issues and stress when it comes to parking on the main campus, but there are other options. Parking on the smaller campuses and taking the shuttles to the main campus, ridesharing, carpooling and riding a bike are some options to combat the parking issues.
“I feel for the students. I see them driving around in the parking garage, over and over trying to find a spot,” said Obsatz.