To the Editor:
In the past seven years I have attended USM while also working full-time, I have watched the parking situation deteriorate to organized anarchy. Five years ago, it was hard to find a space. Now, it is impossible. Why should a student buy a parking pass at whatever cost if parking is unavailable. Satellite lots are unused mainly due to security considerations (I wouldn’t want my girlfriend parking there for fear of assault or robbery) and inconvenience. The future plans for this campus as I have seen them incorporate a lot of window dressing and eliminate most if not all of the parking. Why does USM (a small state-funded university) think that it needs to become Harvard in terms of appearance? A gateway arch? “Green Space?” Why not just dig a big hole and make a lake for swimming and water sports right where the campus center used to be? That would waste a lot of money and not improve the quality of education all at once, which , as I understand it, is the goal of USM. How about improving the existing facilities, mainly the HVAC systems so the classrooms are not 95 degrees all winter long. This school has a talent for wasting money and delivering poor services, much like the Maine State Government. Maybe USM should start looking to private industry for lessons on how to deliver a superior product (education) at a reasonable expense instead of shadowing Angus King and his ilk as they tax the pants off the people who elected them.
The worst part of the situation at USM is the fact that the City of Portland is in the parking business, with fines and boots and wreckers to tow away “lawbreakers.” USM should not be imitating the city they are located in and plan ahead by building a large parking garage that will accommodate all the existing parking capacity plus 50 percent more to anticipate growth. I have never seen such a mess! And in regard to the gentleman who’s letter to the editor in a previous issue suggested that USM tow offenders, I offer this advice: Park on the street in Portland during street sweeps or a parking ban and see how you like paying for a taxi ride to an impound lot and then dealing with a surly tow truck driver to get YOUR CAR back! I guarantee you won’t like it. That is not a good solution to USM’s problems.
The heavy-handed dictatorship that is used at USM to deal with its students is not well received. This is not the wonderful place that the brochures make it out to be, however, with a bit of EFFORT on the part of the school to make life easier on students instead of filling the coffers with money from parking, ARAMARK swill, and bookstore rip-offs, this will again be a great place to get an education.
And get some security up in that library so they can kick the perverts out. I’m sick of that crap.
I am a senior in the Industrial Technology Program, and, as you know, quite unpleased with the services IE: Parking provided by USM.