The beginning of every semester kicks off a migration of students moving from home to campus. However, every student does not make this semi-permanent move.
Those students who do not settle on campus are commuters.
As the fall semester begins, about 8,000 students return to Shippensburg University, nearly doubling the local population of the town itself. Out of those students, 63.5 percent commuted to class in 2011.
These numbers were taken from Shippensburg University’s Institutional Research and Planning website’s common data set. This data set also noted that in 2010, 63.1 percent were commuters and in 2009, 62.9 percent of students were commuters.
Math skills are not required to see that a trend of students commuting to Shippensburg University is on the rise.
With only 36.5 percent of students living on campus in 2011, it is a wonder why new residence halls are being built to accommodate this small percentage of students when the university could be faced with a potential parking crisis in the near future.
“SU should realize that many commuters come from far away to attend classes and give SU their money, so SU should make an effort to accommodate them,” said commuter Julie Klinger.
“More parking lots or free parking is needed. If students have to park on curb sides or far away from main buildings, then paying money for parking should not be required.”
As the commuter lots fill throughout the day, many students are forced to find alternative spill-over parking.
Since parking decals cost $65 per car, being forced to park curbside or use meter parking causes students to become frustrated.
If a student chooses not to purchase a parking decal, the violation fine is $30. Other parking violations, which are listed on the Shippensburg Public Safety webpage, can cost as much as $50 along with a state citation.
Although the parking situation may be frustrating, at least Shippensburg University has made efforts to make commuting more environmentally friendly.
In 2008, Shippensburg joined forces with Commuter Services of Pennsylvania.
This information is listed on the Human Resources page of the Shippensburg University website.
Commuter Services of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of other options commuters may choose when traveling, such as carpooling, bike riding and using public transit.
This is an effort to reduce traffic and promote better air quality and ultimately becoming more environmentally friendly.
More information on the organization can be found at www.pacommuterservices.com.
Since the majority of students commute to SU, it is essential that their voices be heard, whether it is compliments or complaints. Without commuters, the university would lose over half of its students.
Fore more information visit www.ship.edu/Police and click on Parking Q&A.