When Pomona College Junior Class President Don Swan PO ’15 found himself swamped at the beginning
of the academic year with emails complaining about North Campus parking
availability, he decided to take action. After months of researching and organizing with the administration, Swan, along with Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) Senate Secretary Reina Buenconsejo PO ’15 and ASPC North Campus Representative Frances Kyl PO ’14, has worked out a deal with the Office of Campus
Life and Information Technology Services (ITS) to allow 25 North Campus residents to park in the ITS parking garage, which was previously closed off to student use.
Swan said that many residents of North Campus were frustrated with the lack of
parking spaces near their residence halls, which are located north of Sixth Street.
“We got emails from students saying that there is a
lack of parking on North Campus, that they frequently had to go down to the
South Campus parking garage or they had to park randomly on streets and were
getting parking tickets from Campus Safety,” Swan said.
The ASPC senators held conversations to address this complaint from the student body at the beginning of the fall semester. The senators considered installing a swipe-access gate to the North Campus parking garage, located next to Sontag Hall, to prevent non-Pomona students from entering, since students from the other Claremont Colleges occasionally use the parking garage under Athearn Field.
However, Swan said, this approach would have cost approximately $10,000 to install and did not address the real problem.
“Even though a lot of people thought it was CMC or Pitzer parking in
there, it was all Pomona students,” Swan said. “I met with [Senior Associate Dean of Campus Life] Frank Bedoya … and he said,‘This has been a problem in the past, I would love to help you get something done.’ So we laid out an action plan.”
Swan, Buenconsejo, and Kyl, who formed a Senate subcommittee to address the parking problem, spent a week surveying the number of cars parked in the garages.
“The Sontag parking garage was on average 100 percent full and the ITS parking garage was on average 43 percent full,” Swan said. “Between the three of us we went into each parking garage in total about 25 times each. So we had lots of data.”
On average, he said, 91 percent of the 166 spots in the Sontag garage were occupied by cars belonging to Pomona students.
presenting the team’s findings to Bedoya and the ASPC Senate, Swan secured 25 permits approved for Pomona students living in Clark V and Walker Halls to park in the ITS parking garage.
it’s great that Don was able to open up spots in ITS for students,” said Jessica Liu PO ’15, who lives on North Campus. “It’s really
nice to have a guaranteed spot in a consistent location as opposed to driving
around all of North Campus searching for a parking space, which I didn’t always
have the greatest luck with before parking in the ITS lot.”