By Chelsea Hackney, Student Reporter
Late sleepers who commute to campus could soon find themselves without a parking space as ACU’s Summit began Monday and brought with it not only guest speakers but also a flood of visitors. Jimmy Ellison, chief of ACU Police Department, recommends everyone provide for a few extra minutes of walking time.
“Don’t expect to get here at 8:55 for a class at 9:00 and get a front-row spot,” he said. “We expect students and staff to do their part by planning ahead.”
Ellison said Summit is a manageable event from a parking perspective.
“Where to put the vehicle is not the issue,” he said.
Ellison said plenty of parking is available to accommodate everyone, even at such a large-scale event as Summit; however, it will certainly be more congested than usual. Students and staff may have their normal parking routine disrupted by the sudden influx of guests, especially since most visitors will be less likely to notice whether a parking lot is designated for students or faculty.
“Visitors typically park closest to the venue that they are attending,” Ellison said.
While this might mean fewer spaces in staff and student parking lots, the ACU Police Department still prefers students and faculty park in their respective lots.
“We understand the congestion,” Ellison said.
But he reminded drivers ample space is available for vehicles, even if it is not conveniently located directly next to a destination. He said despite all the confusion, fire lanes and handicapped spaces must remain clear. Officers will be practicing a policy of “very low tolerance” for such parking violations.
Ellison said these guidelines are not intended solely for students, but faculty and staff as well, and the burden to help make the process go smoothly should be shared by everyone during the following week.
He said events such as Summit, during which the campus is host to a considerable number of visitors, provides students and staff with opportunities to be “good ambassadors” for ACU. Many guests are not familiar with the campus and may need to be pointed in the right direction; Ellison said faculty and students could make visitors feel welcome, even if it means walking the extra mile.