One of the fields of study offered here at Radford University is geology, the study of the Earth. This major tends to be boiled down to just looking at rocks, and while that is part of what geologists do, there is so much more to it. By just looking at rocks, they can learn what the environment used to be like in a specific area, if there are any dangerous activities going on, and they can find out how suitable the land is for any number of uses, such as construction. Geologists do many things and provide a great many services to society, not all of which will be mentioned in this article as there’s too many to list. Geology isn’t an outdated field and geologist isn’t an outdated profession; these people provide a great deal to the world.
For an example with some real world impacts, take the events at Yosemite Park several years ago. The park had built a visitor’s center on top of a cliff, and down below it were some camping grounds and hiking trails. The grounds had to deal with frequent falling rocks that injured and killed people. However, nothing was being done about it because no one knew why rocks were falling from the cliff face. A graduate student and a professor here at Radford University went to the park to investigate. They found that the visitor’s center was pumping its waste water into the rocks beneath it and this was causing an erosion of the cliff face and a loosening of the rocks. Because the graduate student and the professor discovered this and reported it, people became aware of the danger and they were able to avoid that area of the park. These geologists helped save more people from becoming injured or killed.
Geology is a big field with lots of different branches that many people can and do go into. Geologists have a profound effect on the world, and many do their job without much thanks. Geology is an important field and we would have a lot of serious problems without it.
Now we all know that Radford University isn’t the only school to have problems with their parking. We are a smaller school; therefore, we don’t have nearly the amount of confusion that schools like JMU or UVA have simply because they have more students.
That isn’t saying there aren’t problems with Radford’s parking situation. Because of the recent construction, some parking lots are now off limits. Finding a parking spot is often the most difficult part of my day. Having to park in the “spillover” lots across the bridge or down by SunTrust is inconvenient at best.
There is one problem in particular that I would like to bring to your attention. Has anyone ever noticed that professors have their designated parking lots, but every commuter student lot is also shared with professors? Don’t get me wrong, the professors at RU are wonderful and they deserve to have their own parking lots that are closer to the buildings they need to work in, and some parking lots need to be shared simply because of their location. However, it frustrates me when circling the parking lot behind Young Hall or over near Waldron Hall because every parking space is full, but there are empty spaces in the professors-only lots that could be used.
In the Young Hall parking lot, there are always empty spaces in the closest row which is designated for professors only. Behind Cook Hall, which is maybe 50 yards from the Waldron lot, there are empty spaces as well. However, I can’t park in them without getting a $25 ticket from Parking Services. I feel like there should be a parking lot or two just for commuter students. I also feel like we should all do our part to help our fellow drivers. If you are a professor, maybe this means walking a few extra steps by parking in a ‘professors-only’ lot. If you are a student, maybe it means getting just a little closer to the car next to you so you aren’t taking up two spaces.
This isn’t the only parking problem at Radford, but it is something to think about. Maybe the answer is building a parking garage instead of new parking lots. Or maybe the answer is getting rid of the parking meters. Either way, Radford officials should consider what to do about parking now while we are under construction, so that visitors to RU, as well as potential students and current students, will have a place to park.