I won't speculate on the number that make it offroad, but I will comment on the
number of undergrads on our campus who have been given a SUV by Mommy and Daddy
so that they can drive the mile or so between their dorms and classes!
As I was parking my modest little Dodge Neon in the campus parking lot
yesterday morning I was suddenly overwhelmed to realize that in my parking row
that has 20 slots there were 17 SUV's! My Neon looked dwarfed compared to
this row of monster vehicles. The other two non-SUV's were a 1980's vintage
Toyota Tercel and a later model Nissan Stanza -- both of which bore Faculty
stickers. Of the 17 SUV's, all of them had Student parking stickers! I was
suddenly struck by some sort of irony that none of the faculty were driving
brand spanking new SUV's while all these 20 year-old-students are wheeling
around small-town Geneva in these oversized status symbols. As I glanced
around the rest of the lot I also saw lots of Jeeps as they are also a status
symbol on our campus. Anything that was old, small or falling apart belonged
to the faculty and staff!
I have realized this inequity existed for several months now and I have been
watching the proliferation of SUV's on our campus for quite some time.
Yesterday, however, was the first time that it was SO abundantly apparent.
My real beef is not that these kids get to drive around in something I can't
afford, but it is that they drive recklessly because they figure
they are protected by being in such a monstrosity of a vehicle. As someone who
drives a smallish car, this makes me scared.
Okay, that's my rant for today.