Parking Goes Global

international signs

Students Sam Weinstein '16, Zac McMullen '16 and Gregory Horne '16 work with Dickinson's facilities team to install international parking signs. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Student-led project installs international parking signs to reflect Dickinson’s global outlook

by Craig Layne

Dickinson’s global education leadership is visible the moment you park your car on campus. Seventy-five new signs display translations of existing parking notices from English into one of the 11 modern languages offered at Dickinson. The signs line High Street and can be found in parking lots across campus.


Three policy management majors led the project to install the new parking signs this month as part of their senior seminar.


“The main goal was to leave Dickinson with something that will last beyond our four years,” Zac McMullen ’16 said. “It will be really rewarding to come back to campus, see the signs, and say, ‘we did that.’ ”


McMullen, Gregory Horne ’16 and Sam Weinstein ’16 worked with Dickinson's facilities team to attach the signs on street-side poles, parking-lot entrances and in front of parking spaces. The signs are translations of their English counterparts in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.


Video by Joe O'Neill



Horne said the project required considerable coordination as he and his team worked with translators from Dickinson's Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center to ensure each sign was correct.


The international-signs project highlights the college’s mission to create global citizens. Dickinson offers a wide variety of internationally oriented academic programs, with more than half of the college’s students studying abroad at some point in their academic careers.


“It’s not just a college community, it’s a global community,” Weinstein said, adding that he hoped the signs would make foreign-language speakers feel more at home on campus.


Students from 46 foreign countries attend Dickinson, accounting for 10 percent of the student body. The college also welcomes international visiting faculty members and international fellows from the nearby U.S. Army War College.


Professor of Political Science James Hoefler advised the senior trio on the project. “We try to foster a culture of inclusion at Dickinson,” he said. “Foreign-language parking signs highlight and reinforce our efforts to sensitize students to the value and importance of embracing the language and culture of others.”


“We want to make sure that people recognize Dickinson College as an institution of global education,” Horne said.


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Published February 17, 2016