Debris an issue at residence parking lot

Student raises concerns of rubble found at Laurier Place

Photo by Kha Vo
Photo by Kha Vo

Ross Howey was sick of parking his car beside debris.

The fifth-year political science student at Wilfrid Laurier University bought a parking pass at the beginning of the semester for 31 Lot, which is at Laurier Place residence.

However, over the past three months, Howey has dealt with debris such as dirt, bricks, concrete and chopped trees being kept in the lot.

“I thought maybe it was a temporary thing and I left it, until about a week and a half ago,” he explained.

However, the issue continued.

When the parking lot of the Aboriginal Student Centre was torn up, the chunks of concrete were stored in the Laurier Place parking lot and blocked off entire parking spaces.

Early last week, Howey took his complaint about the debris to the university.

He e-mailed parking and transportation, the office of the president, public relations and the health and safety department.

“It wasn’t until the end of the week that I heard from anybody and they said they were going to look into it and clean it by midweek.”

To Howey, the debris seemed like a safety hazard. The piles of debris were getting covered by snow, and could look like ordinary snow piles, he explained.

“That parking lot is behind a large apartment building and an easy way for any resident there that’s a Laurier student to sneak through.”

Gary Nower, assistant vice-president of physical resources, didn’t know about the debris until Howey brought the complaint forward.

Once the university found out, they worked toward getting it removed.

“I don’t know the specifics, but I’m assuming because [Laurier Place] is not being used and it’s closed, they were probably doing work on other parts of campus and stored stuff temporarily and didn’t get around to moving it,” he explained.

While Nower respected that the parking was a legitimate complaint, he doesn’t think the debris left in Laurier Place’s parking lot is a health and safety issue.

“It’s wrong that it’s taking up parking spots, and the [workers] have assured me they have dealt with it, but to say that’s a health and safety issue is a bit of a stretch.”

In an e-mail on Monday, James Emary, the area manager of grounds services, said there was a “lack of communication with regards to the area.”

He continued that workers for Laurier is working on “getting the area cleaned up for students to park and make it safe.”

Nower explained that much of the issue was a lack of communication.

“[It’s] just a misunderstanding,” he said.

“I think probably what happened was James did some work on the walkways and put the rubble there, thinking that Laurier Place’s parking wasn’t in use.”

Howey felt like Laurier Place was being “ignored” with the debris being left over and hopes Laurier will give attention to all parts of its campus.

“My biggest concern was why did it get left so long because I’d like to see focus given to the whole campus and not just the main parts,” he said.

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