Admittedly, we don’t often receive feedback when the Athenaeum newsletter hits stands across campus. While it would be nice to walk across campus to the sound of applause coming from our satisfied readers, it simply doesn’t happen. So, I have resigned myself to the notion that no news is good news. (Ironically, the value of my paycheck is based solely on the quantity and quality of RIT news.)
Today, our next issue will be in the orange distribution boxes throughout campus and in mailboxes, and I’m hoping that the cover story generates some feedback. The story is about a campus topic that we all have a vested interest in; we encounter it daily—and if you decide to run an off-campus errand during your lunch break, you’ll deal with this twice in one day—which for some is just too grim a thought to consider. Yep, parking at RIT.
I wrote the cover story for this issue, and while I was initially intimidated by the thought of tackling this sensitive subject, I felt at ease when I met with the tremendous folks in the parking and transportation office. I walked away with the belief that they really want to serve their customers. Contrary to what some RIT faculty and staff may think, the staff of the parking and transportation department isn’t going out of their way to make our drive in to campus miserable. Just the opposite, in fact. And if you want to talk with someone who understands parking inside and out—studies parking, eats, lives and breathes parking—make an appointment to visit one of the nicest guys on campus—Randy Vercauteren, director of parking and transportation.
After my interviews with the parking team, I came back to my office to write my story with a greater appreciation of what it takes to handle parking and transportation for what is essentially a small city. I was anxious to tell everyone about what I had learned. But, to my dismay, someone said to me, “I see you’ve been brainwashed!”
That’s when I realized that I had a great story in front of me. Athenaeum is all about raising awareness, whether it’s regarding research or people—or sensitive topics like parking. But more than anything, I hope this story encourages healthy dialogue among students, faculty, staff and administration. And for God’s sake, helps people to understand why it’s impossible to expect to park 10 feet away from their destination every day.