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October   4

Parking (none) and perks (some) at MSU

Montclair_state_universityOver at Montclair State University's student newspaper, The Montclarion, op-ed editor Karl DeVries writes about school spirit (or the lack of it) on campus, and offers some suggestions on how things could improve. Between parking difficulties, construction, and commentary that it is a "safety school" for some students, it seems like there are some things that could be addressed to improve the situation for everyone. As someone who went to a hugely commuter-filled school (Monmouth University), I can completely relate to a different feel as far as campus spirit goes, as compared to, say, Penn State. Unfortunately, the population being made up of a lot of people who don't live at school makes it a tough hurdle to cross. But that doesn't mean a little bit more lax parking lot ticket dispersal wouldn't help.

But it's not all bad over there off of Valley Road, we heard a few days ago about a plan to have incoming students get a nifty new cellphone for a social experiment (at least for now it's an experiment), allowing for getting in on various school-related information and having instant connectivity to fellow classmates.

October 4, 2005 in Seen around town | Permalink


Speaking of Penn State, Mark Biro was one of my fraternity bro's there back in the day & I seem to remember his brother's name was Tom. Zat you?

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Oct 4, 2005 4:32:33 PM

Nope, no brothers for me!

Posted by: Tom | Oct 4, 2005 6:36:08 PM

Funny... I graduated from Montclair State 25 years ago(yikes that's hard to see in print), and I remember the exact complaints then- parking problems, lack of school spirit etc!

Posted by: Joanne | Oct 4, 2005 6:41:17 PM

Joanne and I must have been classmates. I have the same memories.

But I thought the Montclairion editorial was extremely well written.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Oct 4, 2005 7:01:57 PM

parking sucks at montclair but once i got used to leaving my apartment an hour before class (i am only 3 miles on forest st.) things weren't so bad. i heard there was half the amount of parking spaces needed on campus and didn't realize that until i became a commuter.

Posted by: katie | Oct 4, 2005 8:14:54 PM


What year? Did you go to school with any Gillerans? If so, they're my brothers.

Posted by: badd_patti | Oct 4, 2005 8:16:23 PM

I was a Fine Arts major at Montclair State from '76-'80. I don't remember being in school with him, but a Bill Gilleran was roomates in an apartment on Grant Street with a good friend of mine. Is he your brother, Patti?

Posted by: Joanne | Oct 4, 2005 10:14:41 PM

i'm a fine arts major! was calcia hall always the art building? it seems newer than 1980. i also always wondered how many people fornicated in that place.

Posted by: katie | Oct 4, 2005 10:18:35 PM

gilleran one studied to be doc one in tv?

Posted by: cstarling | Oct 4, 2005 10:18:59 PM

Sheesh, seems some things/institutions never change, except for maybe their names. I earned a BS degree in '85 from good old MSU (then 'only' MSC) the hard way - 7 and a half years nights (do the math as to the year I started). Parking and registration were nightmares then. There was no real school spirit then for many reasons, mostly thanks to the lack of interest on the part of the administration and department chairs. I was bright-eyed and enthusiastic when I started, but by the time I graduated enough was more than enough already. I continually ask NOT to be included on mailings to alumni. I feel no ties whatsoever to that institution. It looks like I'm not alone after all these years. I'd say the problem lies within the administration and not with the student body.

Posted by: Karen | Oct 4, 2005 11:34:07 PM

Joanne- that's my brother Bill Gilleran (sometimes he calls himself Billy) now living in Sherman Oaks CA

Cstarling- one a doctor in the navy - Lou- living in San Diego

2 in movies mostly- Charley and Bill- check out the credits for "the terminal' or "war of the worlds" or the internet movie database

Posted by: badd_patti | Oct 5, 2005 3:03:12 AM

patti-knew them from my younger days :) glad to see they are doing well-

Posted by: cstarling | Oct 5, 2005 6:55:37 AM

Yes parking is a problem at MSU.

Strange though -- while students, staff and faculty sometimes endlessly search for a parking spot - the President of the College and certain key faculty members have reserved paring spaces.

Thus they never have the experience of endlessly circling the campus in search of an elusive parking 'legal' parking space.

And to top things off -- the fines for violation of parking rules and regulation are on a par with the fines charged for violations in Manhattan.

Oh well, take note -- the MSU parking hang tag is merely a license to hunt for a parking space....

Posted by: Franklin | Oct 5, 2005 7:49:28 AM

I think the key to collegiate school spirit is to design the campus as a village; to gravitate all activities on-campus. Universities that have on-campus fraternity/sorority houses are a key ingredient. The challege for MSU is that it is set directly inside an established residential suburb with little to no free space to expand. President Cole is doing a superb job in expanding the campus buildings to create a village environment, but in doing so has continued the "tradition" of providing less-than-the-need parking. Use of the new rail station will be encouraged, and may help the problem by 5-10%, but not every student lives near a station. The new parking deck charges a daily fee for students, and only 5-10% of the student body will choose that solution. So, in attracting more students to MSU, where will they all park? The more things change, the more they remain the same...

Posted by: Jim (MSU Class of '94) | Oct 5, 2005 8:48:17 AM

I studied theatre at MSC from 1977 to 1981, but i don't know any Gillerans.

Calcia was there in 1977, it was designed by the same architect who designed my home. There is a plaque just inside the South East entrance that details the dates. I think the building was built in 1969, but Mr. Rigolo was always ahead of his times. He also designed the original library and perhaps, the student center.

The plaque does not indicate how many people have fornicated in the art building. Or the amphitheatre. Student center. Library. Dorms....

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Oct 5, 2005 8:56:16 AM

MSC is my alma mater, too (in fact, Kevin was one of the first people I met there.) I did the 7-year plan, too, but I really have no regrets. Parking was, and always will be, a problem. However, I do remember being able to park close to campus for evening and weekend classes back in the day. I always associated school spirit with the sports rather than the academics, so lack of school spirit was never an issue with me. Ever. Got me in trouble in High School. Oh, well. Montclair State worked for me, so I have no complaints - but it's been 20-something years, so things might be different now, eh?

Posted by: Alison Meyer | Oct 5, 2005 9:05:33 AM

katie, ever consider the train? you can catch it at Walnut Street and it runs to MSU at least once an hour. takes about ten minutes. a student pass is only $30.

I can neven make these links work but here's a schedule...
Boonton Line - Walnut to MSU

Posted by: State Street Pete | Oct 5, 2005 9:58:32 AM

aaah, but Alison, you had a different last name then, but it seem you're doing well.

Are you in touch with janet? I expect to see Ron later this month.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Oct 5, 2005 12:03:48 PM

my boyfriend actaully wanted to catch a bus to take him there and i realized we could take the bus. but it was too late and we have already bought both of our $66 dollar parking passes. but if it is $30 a month that's also too much, i could just buy a parking pass to the njtransit deck there which always has spaces. also let me inform anyone who ever has to park on campus but does not go there: if you get a ticket you do not have to pay it. they cannot fine you, they have no "real" autority and the only way they are able to get the students to pay is because they have our addresses (which they know because we go there) and because when we don't pay we can't register for classes. DO NOT PAY PARKING TICKETS THERE. I've actually gotten MSU parking tickets and then real parking tickets (for parking in handicap) and those you have to pay.

Posted by: katie | Oct 5, 2005 1:15:09 PM

Patti- I remember both Bill and Lou. Those were some fun times! Glad to have news of them and wish them the best.


Posted by: Joanne | Oct 5, 2005 6:13:12 PM

Yes, Kevin, still best friends with Janet and Gayle. I saw Gregg Thomas a couple of years ago, but haven't seen too much of the old crowd other than that (I didn't say hi to Steve Greenberg at a parents expo thingie ages ago, because he and his little one in the stroller were too far away. . .)

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