I have heard a lot of bitter grumbling today concerning the parking and traffic problems associated with today’s Badger football game. The biggest gripers are those employees with paid parking permits who are being forcibly evicted from their assigned lots to make way for fans.
So as a public service, I’d like to remind everyone of these two oft-overlooked facts:
- The primary mission of UW-Madison is to field a truly awesome football team, and to do so in a time slot that is convenient for the commercial cable channel ESPN.
- The primary responsibility of UW-Madison faculty and staff is to ensure that their work schedule and parking habits don’t interfere with the above mission.
Unlike most of my colleagues, I have my priorities straight.
For example, when I belatedly realized that our department’s graduate student orientation, scheduled weeks ago for 3-4pm today and involving introductions and presentations from many of our faculty and staff, might prevent them from vacating their parking lots and clearing out before the fans start arriving en masse to break out their boom boxes and beer coolers, I did the right thing and postponed the orientation until the middle of next week. I’m sure our secretary will be able to find an unused room for it — that’s her job!
And when I realized that I would not have time to finish preparing handouts for tomorrow’s 8:50am class before the tow trucks came for my own car in Lot 81, I made the difficult — but in hindsight obvious — decision to finish them after dinner tonight and set the alarm a half-hour earlier tomorrow morning to leave time for photocopying before class. Anything in the service of Badger football!
As for the colleague who complained that he had already paid for his parking spot and now the University was charging someone else to use the same spot, all I can say is, get with the program, buddy! What he apparently doesn’t understand is that we are all doing our part to subsidize the cost of those parking spots so that visiting Badger fans can afford them. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need – it’s the Madison way!
Thank you, Sifting and Winnowing, for letting me shed some much-needed light on this very simple issue.