Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Last Friday night, after a relatively brief but intense period of rain, parts of the Mod parking lot were under at least six inches of water, and damage was inflicted on some student vehicles. While this is not a common occurrence, it is also not unprecedented. The Heights believes that this is a problem that must be addressed by the administration immediately.
While we understand that the flooding came as a bit of a surprise, and could not be directly avoided, The Heights strongly encourages the administration to develop a better strategy for responding to these types of occurrences in the future.
First, why were students not warned of the flooding as it was occurring? Many students were unaware flooding was taking place. While there was limited notification to students on Lower Campus by way of a public address system, it would have behooved the University to address the issue both earlier and more directly, either by using the emergency notification system to alert students to the danger posed to their cars, or by sending out a parking advisory email. While we understand that the emergency notification system should be used with extreme discretion, advisory emails are sent every Friday before a football game and other special events. Why could they not also be sent out during a relatively serious emergency—the flooding of an entire section of campus—especially when student property is in danger?
Another solution would have been opening some of the floors of the Commonwealth Avenue garage for emergency evacuation of cars from the Mod Lot. On Friday night, the garage had numerous empty spots where students could have moved their cars to avoid damage from the flood. While this was already an option for students, they would have had to pay for parking in the garages, and, as mentioned previously, many students did not even know flooding was occurring.
Resident undergraduate students who purchase SRF parking passes pay $534 per semester for the right to park on Boston College’s campus, and their available parking spots are extremely limited—the Mod Lot, the Shea Lot, the Edmond’s Lot, and the Newton and Brighton Campuses in specified areas. That amount of money for so few options is a significant investment on the part of an undergraduate student. These students have paid for the right to a parking spot that does not flood after a few hours of rain. Or, at the very least, they should be notified as soon as it does.