By Samantha Zaremba, WC Guest Reporter
On Sept. 18, 2022, students parked in the lot next to Corbin Hall woke up to pink slips on their cars stating that they were illegally parked and that the two designated C-lots were now unavailable to them until further notice. Soon, the word got out that Western Illinois University (WIU) will be building a new Performing Arts Center next to Corbin/Olson Hall, and construction is set to take 710 days.
This new center will include many components, such as an auditorium and practice rooms. “The new performing arts center is going to be really good for not only the school of music but for the entire school,” said Emma Miller, a member of the Marching Leathernecks. The fine arts students are ecstatic about this new addition to WIU and hope that it will showcase the talent of the students.
Because of the construction, students are no longer able to park in either of the two parking lots that were originally C-lots. Students who bought C-lot passes were not warned about this situation before paying and still have not heard about a refund. The larger of the two lots have now been designated a staff-only lot. Corbin resident Bria Price said, “Faculty already get the best and most convenient spaces, and [their lots] aren’t full like student parking.” Students in Corbin are now required to park in Q-lots, the closest being down the street, across from Sherman Hall. The notification from University Parking states that these will be the circumstances until further notice.
The parking situation has also caused students to worry about safety. Some students in Corbin get off of work late or start their shift early in the morning, meaning they need to use their car at various times overnight. Bria Price said, “Having to walk all the way from Q-lot at night is dangerous. My roommate had to change her hours at work because she was afraid to walk to her car all the way at Q-lot at five in the morning.”
Many students have expressed that the timing was not planned well. Bria Price also states that this shows that the school “does not care for their students’ convenience and safety.” Students have been pushing to get at least half of the bigger C-lot back since this lot is much bigger than the staff lot that it has replaced, but so far this has been unsuccessful.