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Students Vent About UM Parking on Facebook

Photo courtesy of jgrimm/Flickr

It’s a Monday morning at the University of Montana. Traffic has slowed to a crawl on Campus Drive. Luckily, you anticipated this scene, which is why you left yourself a good 20 minutes to find a parking space.

You start with the lot closest to your building. Full. You slowly make your way to the next closest lot. Completely occupied. You continue on, passing rows and rows of tightly packed cars. There is not a vacant spot in sight.

Your eyes widen and your spirits lift for a brief moment when you think you see an open spot up ahead, but you squint with seething anger when you pull up and see a moped parked smack-dab in the middle of the space.

Class starts in three minutes. You gradually accept the fact that you’re totally screwed.

If you are — or ever have been — a student at UM, this scenario is all-too-familiar. A week into my first semester, I knew that I would never again fall for the scheme that is the UM parking system.

Apparently, there is now a group of students who have set out to challenge that scheme.

On Wednesday night, the Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) failed to pass a resolution that would have made advocacy for more parking one of the organization’s initiatives. Still, students who are fed up with the lack of parking on campus haven’t given up their fight. Like so many revolutionists before them, they have taken to Facebook to promote their cause, establishing a group called My University of Montana Parking Story. The group currently has more than 160 members.

Even if it doesn’t lead to the construction of a new parking garage, it provides a great therapeutic outlet for stressed-out students who need to blow off some steam about their UM parking woes. Because trust me, eventually your boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate/mom will get tired of hearing about it.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

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