September 9, 2022 | CULTURE | By Katie Rowley | Illustration by Iris Guo

The morning of Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, started out like any other. Professor Hayward’s Beginning Fiction Writing class was not meeting due to a planned catch-up day, and as I was already caught up, my day started promptly at 5 a.m.  

I know what you are thinking: 5 a.m., that’s insane! But I am a morning person. And a 7 a.m. grocery run to the King Soopers on Uintah ensures the freshest food and a trip that doesn’t involve running into 17 other Colorado College students on their own weekly grocery trips.  

So, as I climbed in my car at promptly 6:45 a.m., I turned the key, expecting to hear the normal rumbling of my 2017 Subaru Outback’s engine. Instead, I was welcomed with a sputtering, and a red flashing light of a battery on the dashboard of my car.

Chalking it up to a fluke, I ripped the key out, shoved it back in, and tried again. The return of the sputtering dismissed any hope I had of making it to the grocery store or anywhere else that morning.  

My car was dead.  

The resigned walk back into my apartment, which featured two phone calls to my parents, was embarrassing. I met my roommates’ faces, most of them filled with shock and confusion, as I had spent the entire night hyping up my early morning plans.  

Mixed reactions met the room when I delivered the news. Even if anyone had time to help me jump-start my car, my car was blocked into a spot with no way to reach jumper cables to any willing engines..  

“I feel like you and cars just don’t get along,” said Grace Schumde ’24, who had heard my tales of previous dead car batteries and car accidents.  

As they all filtered off to class, I decided to wait. I reassured myself that, in the afternoon, cars would move, and my friends would be available to start my car.  

Unfortunately, my two roommates who brought their cars had afternoon classes.  

Noon rolled around and one of my roommates, Marina LeVarn ’24 and I made our way out into the parking lot. We didn’t have a real plan. We only hoped to find that one of the spots next to me had emptied and we’d be able to flag down someone to help.  

As we reached the East Campus parking lot, we could see the lack of a car next to me. Beaming with happiness, I instructed LeVarn to stand in the spot as I retrieved the jumper cables from the back of my car and popped the hood.  

The Campus Safety building on East Campus

Through a concentrated effort of reaching out to everyone we thought might have a car, a rumor of a hiking partner coming to pick up another one of our roommates reached our ears. He’d be coming at 1 p.m..

In the mean time, we stood in the empty spot next to my Subaru, blocking it off from the hoard of drivers who hoped to park there. We felt more and more guilty for taking away a sacred parking space as the minutes ticked by.  

A voice from behind us broke our waiting, “I assume you’re not trying to break into this car?”  

The question came from a Campus Safety officer, whose name I forgot to ask.  

After explaining that, no, in fact, we were not, and that we were waiting for someone to help me start my car, the officer went to grab a car battery charger from the Campus Safety office, just a few feet away.  

With the portable charger in hand, the officer attached it to my battery. After a few minutes of waiting, a twist of the car key brought my engine to life. I could finally make it to the store.  

Without even waiting for a thank you, the officer unhooked the cables, and turned, walking back to the Campus Safety office. I yelled my gratitude toward him as I shut the hood of my car. And then, I was off.  

So, if you ever find yourself stuck in a campus parking lot with a dead car battery, call Campus Safety. And, if you ever find yourself being turned away from a parking space because someone is waiting for their friend to help them jump their car, tell that person to call Campus Safety.  

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