By Jessica Beswick
Collegiate Staff Writer
Imagine driving up Fountain Street when it is pitch black. The only light is coming from the dimly lit street lights over head.
From there you pull into the Bostwick Parking Ramp. Not surprising, you are alone. The campus is isolated. It is 4:45 a.m.
You turn off your car, get out and start walking. The only thing that you hear is the sound of your own footsteps. It is eerie and lonely.
Every corner looks darker than usual, and the walk from the parking ramp to the street takes longer than ever.
It has been an interesting semester thus far for me here at GRCC. I say this because I am also interning at a local radio station while attending full time classes. By being a part of this internship, I have gotten a unique perspective on campus that many other students have not or will never see.
Working at a radio station requires employees to arrive very early in the morning. The best option for me is to park in the Bostwick Ramp, which offers students cheaper parking than any other downtown ramp. Unfortunately, there is a cost…safety.
Ramp hours for the Bostwick Ramp for this year are as follows, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. But, are these really the hours? If a student such as myself can swipe my Raider Card at 4:45 a.m. every morning and still be allowed in, these posted hours are incorrect.
GRCC needs to reconsider the hours of operation for the parking ramps and provide more security regulations. Currently, the campus police do not arrive until 7:00 a.m. on weekdays.
If students are allowed into campus parking structures at a minimum of an hour before the campus police arrive, this creates an unsafe environment.
After talking to Lieutenant Harold Woolworth from the GRCC Police Department, I was advised that in a crisis situation before the campus police arrive I should use an emergency call box that is located on campus. These call boxes would immediately contact the Grand Rapids Police Department.
But is that really enough? To me, that is not a very assuring answer. I would feel more comfortable knowing that in a crisis situation GRCC Police, located directly on campus, that could be there almost immediately are there to protect me.
With the increasing number of students, more people are bound to face these same issues.
Extending the hours of operation for the parking ramps on campus while also increasing safety regulations provided by the GRCC Police would be a vast improvement for student life.