Pregnant women should get premium spaces

Katrina Mossberger

Imagine carrying at least an extra 20 pounds on your stomach, being nauseated at random and being generally fatigued all the time, all while maintaining a job and taking a full class load. How hard must it be for pregnant students, particularly those in their third trimester, to balance this load while trying to stay well enough for their baby? On top of this, these students aren’t given an expectant mother space like at the Westfield Topanga shopping mall. If you can’t get a close spot, you’re walking, baby and all.

CSUN currently offers no expectant mother spaces. The next route might be to apply for a temporary disabled placard, but those who apply for a disability placard will be denied and told they don’t have a disability. I’m inclined to agree, but let’s not forget they are carrying around quite a bit of condensed extra weight front and center. Disability placards are given to individuals who have difficulty walking more than 200 feet without resting. A physician can recommend a placard for a pregnant woman if her pregnancy causes her to have a walking condition or a similar disability, but then the placard is for the pregnancy-caused problem, not the pregnancy.

Is it possible to reach a happy medium that is satisfactory for students who are expecting and for the school? The expectant mother spaces provided at the mall are a courtesy, not something that can be enforced by police officers. Likewise, it’s a courtesy that non-expectant mothers don’t park in those spots. How would someone know if someone parking in that spot was recently pregnant or not? I think it’s pretty well assumed that those spots are meant for women further along- six to nine months- or those who look pregnant. Without placards and a law to enforce it, though, it’s easily abused.

Parking at CSUN is also at a premium. Expectant mother spots would come from existing spots, definitely in the structures. The grand majority of students will be angry at the thought of a loss of more parking spots when parking is already terrible.

If the school were to establish expectant mother parking spots they also would undoubtedly charge for them, not letting them just be a courtesy service. I also imagine the passes would be more expensive than our standard student passes because of the priority spots.

Until permits could regulate the use of expectant mother spaces on campus, I don’t see the school instituting it anytime soon.