Residents of Wenona Cook voice frustrations of parking situation

It is widely known among many that the most hectic time in a person’s life is their college years. Typically, the average college student takes on about 15 to 18 credits at a time, which is anywhere from two to four classes per day. Additionally, many students have jobs, sports practices, or both, to get to on a daily basis. Often times, clubs and other extracurricular activities take up students’ time as well.


With all of these obligations and the massive piles of homework and exams to study for, time-sucking activities, such as multiple 20 minute jaunts from the car to the dorm room each day, tend to be extremely inconvenient.


At Black Hills State University, first and second year students possess the option to live in one of five residence halls. All of these residence halls come equipped with a parking lot, with the exception of one. Wenona Cook Hall has no parking lot. The closest place students are provided with to park their car is in the parking lot of the Young Center, a public lot that is 257 meters away from the nearest entrance.


Now, it is likely presumed by most outside readers that if a student is not provided with a parking lot, they should not be required to buy a parking pass. That is not the case at BHSU. Wenona Cook residents are expected to buy the same $90 parking pass that commuter students are required to purchase at the beginning of each year.


On top of the over $1700 students spend so that they can eat, the thousands of dollars they spend on classes, the hundreds they spend on textbooks and the over $4000 they spend to just live in the dorms each year,  they are forced to pay an additional $90. And for what? Multiple unneeded workout sessions every day?


Furthermore, the parking lot of the Young Center is typically full of spectators vehicles, leaving no spaces available for paying students. This adds yet another element of frustration to Wenona Cook residents.


“We pay $92 to fight with construction and have no parking during football season. And we think: ‘oh… it will be better after football…’ Just kidding, after football we fight with parents of Black Hills Gold swim team and then there is basketball season,” first year Wenona Cook resident Lindsey Woods said.


If the walk between the parking lot and the dorms was inconvenient in the warm months of summer, one can only imagine the burden of it during the subfreezing months of winter, the chilling days of rain and the frigid weeks of snow. In fact, the jaunt is often classified as a hazard moreso than a burden simply because of the rough terrain and often unexpectedly cold temperatures.


“It takes me an extra 10 minutes to get to my car, and then another 10 to 15 to scrape off my windshield or let it warm up in the winter. This is valuable time that other students do not have to spend,” second year Wenona Cook resident Emma Stone said.


If it wasn’t enough for students to be expected to brave the harsh elements of nature on a regular basis, there is no avoiding the fact that the dreaded task of transporting student belongings, such as groceries or luggage, from their vehicle to the dorm is magnified for Wenona Cook residents. These students are expected to haul their belongs nearly 10 times further than any other BHSU student.


“It’s super inconvenient when we have breaks…when you are taking your laundry and your suitcase home, it’s a hassle getting everything to your car and having to walk up and down so many times,” second year Wenona Cook resident Payton Adams said.


Wenona Cook should be equipped with a parking lot just like every other residence hall on campus, or at the very least, students should be spared the $90 parking fee.