Parking perplexes impatient pupil


Emily Washburn

The number of parking spaces has decreased dramatically as the number of off-campus students and parking permits have increased.

Emily Washburn, Only real Horizon fans will know her

Let’s talk about parking at Westmont, people. Oh, did I say parking? I meant the soul-sucking, logic-defying, rage-stoking LACK of parking at Westmont. Please enjoy my sorrow. 

First  of all, I don’t know how this situation came to be, because it is a mathematical kerfuffle from the start. Allow me to illustrate.

Here, we see that the number of off-campus students, the red arrow, has increased. So, of course, most of those students need cars and are given parking permits. See the blue arrow. Makes sense, I guess. Now the purple arrow takes into account the number of outdoor learning pavilions that have rendered a statistically relevant number of Westmont’s already meager parking spots completely unusable. Awesome.

So, according to mathematics and everything logical ever, that means the number of parking spots, the green arrow, has decreased to a critically low number. So here I am — parking spot–less and with a tiny little volcano of rage inside of me that’s liable to erupt at any time. Lovely. 

Parking on campus thus becomes a high-stakes game of pinball, in which my car is the ball and oddly placed tents, students darting out of nowhere, and golf carts are the drop targets. I pray, as I get yet another parking ticket, that my score will be lower next time. (The amount of money I give via parking tickets to Westmont and the City of Santa Barbara is already more than my Westmont tuition).

It really grinds my beans when I come back to the library lot after a grueling 15-minute walk from lower campus to find that I have been ticketed. Let’s circle back to that. The library, also known as the only institution on campus working even remotely correctly. Also known as one of the best places for students to get their work done peacefully. But sure. Ticket me at the library.

Did I mention why I even parked at the library in the first place? This spring, we finally get to see our athletes back out on the field, court, etc., etc. and I am genuinely really happy to see that happen. However, when, say, a soccer game and a baseball game happen within hours of each other, there is not a spot on lower campus to be had. So, what is a poor, off-campus student to do but park at the library, where students are not allowed to park? I guess … just leave.

20 minutes, half a tank of gas and a 60-point turn are spent trying to find parking on campus.

Believe me, I’ve thought about it. First of all, with the Cold Springs entrance closed, I already lose, like, 20 minutes and half a tank of gas driving up and around. All of my classes are on lower campus, so I have to go and check all the usual places. GLC/Armington full. Surprise surprise. Nothing in VK. Nothing by the tennis courts. Someone took Reynolds. So I have no choice but to enter what I call the Music Tent parking lot. Once upon a time, this parking lot was just your average, narrow, oddly shaped, Westmont parking lot with an entrance and an exit. Now, the back half is taken up by the music pavilion, which also blocks the exit. I’m forced, by necessity, to go alllllllll the way in, only to find that, no, there’s nowhere to park, at which point I am forced to make a sixty point turn to exit said parking lot. Usually with witnesses.

At this juncture, I’m throwing a tantrum and debating just going home. Full disclosure, sometimes I do. However, most times, I persevere, and continue to complete that God-forsaken loop until someone decides to leave. Sometimes my class is already over by the time I find one measly parking spot in the upper Clark lot. 

In conclusion, parking here is ridiculously, hilariously bad. I don’t understand it. And I think that, with all the money I have paid in parking tickets, I could build my own parking lot. 

P.S. Chief Boyd, please call me back, I have some parking tickets to discuss.


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