First years should be allowed cars

By Jasmine King

Contributing Writer

My biggest concern when coming to the University for the first time was not being able to bring my car. I was the baby of my high school class, so the first and only year that I could drive my car to school was my senior year. It was heartbreaking to have all of that freedom my senior year, then have it be taken right back from me when I started college. I have my theories on why colleges, not just our University, have the rule that first years are not allowed to have cars. Some of these include trying to force students to stay on campus and force them to find other things to do instead of going home. The latter one makes the most sense to me because if students did have their cars on campus for their first semester, I am sure that some students would want to go home every weekend and not enjoy the activities the University sponsors.

Regardless of the reason behind it, to force students to stay on campus is not the right thing to do about this. Students will call their parents and go home if they want to anyway; it is not as if the University can keep students inside of the “Bucknell bubble” forever. I do not understand why in the second semester of the first year, students cannot bring their cars back to campus. After winter break, students have already made up their minds about whether they like the University and want to stay. At this point they have already grown accustomed to college life. But instead, the administration chooses to divide students by not letting first-years have a car. By doing this, first-years have to use the shuttle, walk or awkwardly ask an upperclassman to drive them to Wal-Mart. Not being able to have a car on campus creates a divide between upperclassmen and first-years. 

The other theory that I have on why first-years are not allowed to have cars on campus is due to the lack of parking space. I realized that this was a problem the first weekend that the University had a home football game. When walking out of McDonnell Hall, I noticed there were no empty spaces for students or visitors, a horrible combination. The issue of parking should hopefully be resolved once all of the construction of Academic West is complete since then the University will have plenty of parking for faculty, students and visitors to park comfortably. Will the end of construction and increased space allow first-years to bring their cars to campus? I sure hope so.

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