Student LifeThe Buzz

Students take on new McCarthy parking lot upgrade

New safety measures are in place in the McCarthy parking lot. (Photo courtesy of Buzz Archive)

DAVENPORT, Iowa – The new gates at the McCarthy parking lot were activated on Wednesday Feb. 28. McCarthy residents and Kia/Hyundai car owners will be able to park inside of it. This upgrade is happening due to the recent increase of Kia and Hyundai car thefts.

Students drive in and out of the lot and scan their bee-cards on the newly added card readers, the same way they enter buildings around campus. The availability of the lot will only be accessible to those with a zone one or two parking permit. 

For students like Ryan Evans, majoring in business sales and marketing, and a resident in McCarthy, he explains, “The barriers are not exactly a deterrent, you can just drive around it, anyone with a bee-card can go through.”

On the other hand, he recognizes that “It can be a benefit for KIA/Hyundai owners since it gives them a guaranteed space in one of Ambrose’s parking lots.” 

Carlos Simoni, another McCarthy resident claims, there is a lot more spots for McCarthy residents and believes, “It provides more safety and control of who comes in and out.” 

But he also understands that “There`s room for improvement since people could easily get out of there, but it is a great start to increase campus security.”

Gates are surrounding the bee card readers. (Photo courtesy of Buzz Archive)

According to St. Ambrose security, the gate closest to the Wellness Recreation Center (WRC) will be used as an exit, and the one closest to McCarthy will be used as an entrance. Both ways face Lombard Street. 

Springfield News-Leader says the number of motor vehicle thefts on campus has been at least one since 2014 except in 2021 (Based on 2021 data from the Department of Education). 

Although motor vehicle thefts do not seem that common for students on campus, it can cause financial harm since some are paying for their own education.

SGA Athletic Senator, Loryn Heil and a KIA owner believes, “The money could have been spent for better purposes on the SAU campus.” But she is hopeful that “we can stop all car thefts soon.”

Heil congratulates the efforts of the University. “It is a great attempt at fixing a very prevalent problem on campus.” Nonetheless, the few weeks that went by without the gates working have made her skeptical about the decision up to the point where she decides “not to keep” her KIA in that specific parking lot. 
From information gathered at a newscast published by WQAD in 2023, “74 Kia and Hyundai cars were stolen in the Quad Cities in 2022 alone, more than any other model.”

For students like Simoni, it is not enough to put up the arm gates as he explains, “More lighting and better-prepared security guards are a must in order to improve security on campus for students to fully enjoy their college experience.” Evans agrees with Simoni’s statement, “Most of the time security is understaffed, and in my opinion, some of them do not seem qualified to be the ones protecting us and our belongings.”

“Instead of setting up a barrier, give the students steering-wheel locks and increase security patrols, maybe not being able to move the car will stop thieves from targeting student’s cars,” Evans said.

With the recent addition of security cameras on parking lots and inside the campus buildings, it is clear a that the University is trying to protect its students and their belongings.

Even though some students do not agree with the upgrades, other students acknowledge the efforts that SAU security is making for them to be able to perform at the highest level without any security threats to their person and their integrity.