Athletics not too good to ask for parking spots

Sports rule the roost here at Western.

They want something, they get it – even if it interferes with the academic side of the house.

At least, that’s the perception.

Though looks can be deceiving, the athletics department’s recent move to please Hilltopper Athletic Foundation donors only accentuates a stereotype that has long plagued the Hill.

During the upcoming men’s basketball season, certain parking lots around Grise Hall and Tate Page Hall will be blocked off so people who donated $250 or more can have reserved parking for home games.

Five of these home games are on week nights when night classes are held in those buildings. Faculty and commuters count on those lots for parking.

Administrators say faculty members will get reserved spots in those lots during games. We’ll see what happens.

We understand that HAF members are guaranteed certain perks for handing over money to athletics. Among those, good parking for all home games.

This perk has been taken away since the Diddle Arena renovation began. Typically HAF members have parked in the lot next to Diddle. In the worst cases, as Athletics Director Wood Selig put it, some of them actually had to park in the structure.

We understand that Western gives perks to people who fork over the cash (for athletics that is), but this is the problem:

No one ever asked if it was okay, or took the time to discuss it with the people affected.

Selig and Gene Tice, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Services, never talked to faculty or deans about using the spots.

Parking and transportation committee members had asked them to, but apparently they haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Basketball season starts Saturday.

Faculty and students have every right to be upset.

No one is going to be thrilled about losing their spot, but the situation could have been smoother with a little more consideration and communication. If the athletics department had at least asked, instead of just staking claim on the lots, maybe we could lose the perception that sports is king.

Both sides have to live together.

And that means talking things out.

This editorial is the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.