The parking predicament

Navigating the fine line between order and absurdity.
We have all been in a GroupMe chat with wonderful students who go out of their way to warn the majority of these ticketing frenzies. For many college students, navigating the winding and bumpy campus parking lots can be as frustrating as deciphering some professor’s homework assignments. With the limited spaces, finding a spot often feels like winning the lottery. However, the real frustration kicks in when students return to find a glaring parking ticket on their windshield, or even worse, an empty space where their car once sat, towed away by Campus Security.

The relationship between students and Campus Security regarding parking enforcement is often a topic full of tension and exasperation. While the intention behind enforcing parking regulations is to maintain order and ensure access to essential facilities, the implementation can sometimes feel unreasonable to students. Alyssa-Patrice Pineda-Moore, a student on campus, exclaimed, “I got ticketed for parking at the ACAC to use the ACAC?” She told me about her confusion regarding a student’s inability to park at the student union. “I parked and Campus Security looked at me and waited until I walked away before running to my car. I watched them from the porch of ACAC as they ticketed me.” Pineda-Moore’s appeal against this ticket was promptly denied, but her frustrations leaned more toward the lack of explanation as this was not her dispute with Campus Security. When contacted about the matter, Campus Security explained that this parking lot was designated for visitors, which meant that students and staff were not permitted to park in the area. Furthermore, there are no available parking passes for the space.

Ultimately, the issue of campus parking extends beyond the mere inconvenience of walking ten minutes across campus to get food or go to class. These grievances go further as multiple students have reported feeling targeted in a ticketing feud. Past ticket offenders have found themselves more likely to receive additional tickets in comparison to similar non-ticketed offenders in the area. Each ticket falls into a price range of $30 to $50, which for these repeated offenders, adds up quickly. This ticket, if not paid, can place a hold on your Bursar account. For staff, this fee is taken directly out of their wages after 30 days.

Pineda-Moore has been experiencing this unfortunate vendetta throughout her time at the university. Last year she had purchased a new vehicle mid-semester. Campus Security began ticketing her vehicle right away and continued even after she had purchased the parking pass. “I appealed for the new tickets since I had one purchased and on its way in the mail, but I was told that since I had not displayed the receipt on my dashboard, the appeal would be denied.” In cases similar to this student’s experience, Campus Security could have provided guidance and understanding to eliminate future confusion and frustration; however, it is a system that seems to prioritize punishment over problem-solving and fails to consider the challenges faced by students and faculty on a daily basis.

This is an undeniable frustration many students face on campus. The fear of receiving a parking ticket pushes some students to abide by the strict regulations and walk, while for some it is a battle of injustice to be won.

While Campus Security has a crucial role to play in maintaining the order and safety of those on campus, it is imperative that they do this with empathy, fairness and a genuine understanding of the challenges the students and faculty face. This is not to say that Campus Security is lacking in any of these aspects, but only emphasizing the importance that these qualities hold, because after all, education should empower students, not leave them feeling as though they have been unfairly targeted.

Post Author: Jeana Brewer