July 19, 2019 | 93° F

Skelly field is more important to student life than another parking lot

Letter to the editor

The open space, which is characteristic of Cook campus, is what appeals to the residents of Cook. Skelly Field is where students play soccer, sit on blankets, play the guitar, take walks, play football, practice sword fighting, walk seeing-eye dogs in training and relax. I have seen all these activities and many others occur while looking out my window at Skelly Field from Perry Hall. Antonio Calcado was quoted in a Targum article referring to “displaced people” who need a place to park. What about all the people who use Skelly Field for recreational purposes now? If a parking lot is built, they will be displaced.

The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Governing Council — which I am a member of — unanimously voted in opposition of the lot being built. Despite that, plans to build a parking lot next to the Food Science Building have moved forward. I believe the views of the students on Cook campus should be further taken into consideration before a parking lot is built.

The article cites Calcado’s view that a new lot is needed because 131 spaces were lost, and the demand for parking will increase when the new Food Science Building opens. According to the article, the Department of Transportation has “conducted several studies and deemed more parking spots are necessary.” I would like to know how the studies were conducted and the exact conclusions. The Governing Council has discussed the presence of parking around campus. For instance, the Douglass parking deck has numerous spots available. The Department of Transportation states on their website that “there are over 2,000 empty spaces every day on campus.” I believe building a parking lot to provide spots close to the building is an irresponsible use of resources. Students walk various distances to class every day. Faculty should not be provided with a new parking lot when spaces around campus already exist. Reallocating lots can give everyone on campus a place to park without building a new lot.

The University needs to consider how building a parking lot will change the atmosphere of Cook campus, where the SEBS is mainly located. Even if an environmentally friendly lot is built, those lots are costly. Students would rather see the additional funds from the Food Science Building go towards academics. I urge the Rutgers community to consider the necessity of a new parking lot.

Marisa Beckett is a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences first-year student majoring in animal sciences.

By Marisa Beckett

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