OPINION: Reducing parking privileges on game day is a poor choice

The+Charles+Koch+Arena+parking+lot+on+Jan.+17%2C+which+is+typically+filled+up+on+gamedays.+

Devon Sipes / The Sunflower

The Charles Koch Arena parking lot on Jan. 17, which is typically filled up on gamedays.

I love my job. I love the opportunity I have to be able to cover division one college basketball. It’s one of the many things I’ve dreamed of doing since I realized I wanted to become a journalist.

Last semester I wrote an opinion about treating every journalist equally. I know that professionals will have seniority over student journalists on who gets to interview players and coaches first, or what players will be in the press conferences after games. I know they also have seniority over big stories. However, if a person has a media credential regardless if they are a student or professional everyone should have the same basic privileges and be treated equally. Otherwise why give someone a credential? 

One problem that I have recently run into is media parking on game days for the Wichita State Men’s basketball team. The first time I needed to park for a game my coworker and I pulled up with our media parking pass to park in regular media parking. However, we came to find out later  from our boss that our parking pass is actually in the parking lot across from Charles Koch Arena. This is very frustrating for me and my co-workers that we are not given the same privilege as other members of the media. 

However, it isn’t just about the logic or if I should have a parking spot. Personally, I have several reasons why I think it is unfair and unacceptable. When you are in the media, you usually have to be there at least an hour or thirty minutes beforehand to set up. Sometimes that includes bringing several bags with you if you are taking photos. Therefore, you need to be able to get as close as you can to the media entrance so you don’t have to walk through crowds of fans with all of your belongings. 

Also, as a female journalist it is unsafe to not be able to park with the other media. After the games, I usually have to walk through Charles Koch Arena while it’s about to close and then walk across several parking lots by myself in the dark in an area where crime rate is high. Having the same parking privileges as the other media would be safer because I could walk out of the media room on the bottom level of Charles Koch with every other media member, and then out the door and straight to my car. 

By not giving student journalists regular media privileges like every other member of the media, it is treating us like we are a joke. We are not a joke. I have been to other college campuses to cover games including Oklahoma State University. I was treated like everyone else and was able to park in media parking. I was clearly instructed about what my credential could do for me in terms of covering games. If you are reading this and you disagree I respectfully disagree with you. However, I strongly feel that this parking policy for me and my co-workers needs to change.