This week we have two very lengthy, very different stories in the paper. One is about parking complaints and the other is about homeless university students.
These topics can put things into perspective when taking a deeper look at them. While some students struggle to find parking on campus, knowing they should have left home earlier, other students are struggling just to survive on the same campus.
When students from Parking Services took a walk and found the furthest points of interest were about eight minutes apart, it surprised them. Other universities have points of interest up to 20 minutes apart or more, and some don’t even allow freshmen and sophomores to have a car on campus.
At the same time, some instructors are noticing other students haven’t eaten or they’re in need of personal hygiene products. Some have even been victims of human trafficking.
Putting these topics into perspective, is parking really that big of a problem? College age students are going without food, shelter and heat right under our noses. They are hidden because they don’t want to be noticed, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t here. Homeless students even have a network among themselves to look out for each other.
There are problems with parking on campus, such as the decks that need some maintenance work, but if an able-bodied student’s chief complaint is walking more than several minutes to their classroom, it’s time to stop and check your perspective.
This isn’t to say that people’s problems are invalid because others have it worse. This is just another call to action, or at least a call to think. Think about what a problem is versus what’s just an inconvenience.
Your peers being homeless is a problem. Finding a close place to park is an inconvenience.