Letters: campus parking, ticketing angers students

Lack of campus parking inconveniences commuter

When I first read the article and editorial about campus parking in the Sept. 9 issue of The Signal, I was ecstatic that someone was finally addressing commuter parking problems.

Since the semester began, it has been a struggle to find parking. As a commuter student, I have no choice but to leave 30 minutes before class and battle the rest of the student body attempting to find a parking spot. If I’m lucky, I hit the jackpot and take one of the last five parking spots on the roof of Lot 6.

I feel sorry for the students who get to campus five minutes after me to find no spots left in any of the commuter lots.

These students have to circle the parking deck and pray that someone is going to leave so they can claim a spot and get to class on time.

Two of my housemates carpooled and left approximately 20 minutes before the start of their classes. They ended up getting to  class 20 minutes late because a parking spot was unattainable.

I cannot even imagine how much worse this situation will become once parking on the top deck becomes unavailable due to snow removal practices.

However, I decided to write this editorial because of how infuriated I became after reading “SGA tackles campus parking issues” in the Sept. 16 issue of The Signal.

Brian Block, vice president of Administration and Finance, said there are enough parking spots available for College students, according to the article. In most students’ experiences, I have found that to be untrue.

According to SGA members, 114 parking spaces in various lots should be available for commuter students. However, I’m not sure where exactly these 114 parking spaces are. Perhaps a Parking Services representative can draw me a map of these supposed empty parking spaces.

In addition, Lot 15 will serve as overflow commuter parking, according to Block. As I drove past Lot 15, I saw a note indicating the lot was for faculty and staff members.

I would love some clarification on the issue so I do not risk being ticketed by Campus Police.

With this issue added to all the other parking problems on campus, I just hope I am not around when high school students and their parents flood the parking lots to take tours of the College.

Kristen Casabona

Surprise Eickhoff ticketing angers student

Walking downstairs to Lot 11 — the parking lot below Eickhoff Dining Hall — a couple weeks ago, my roommate and I were completely oblivious to the welcome back prizes left for us by a Campus Police officer.

At the time, our minds were on coffee. Still exhausted from move-in day, escaping campus for a decent cup of java sounded like an ideal way to start our first full Wednesday back. It wasn’t until we reached Dunkin’ Donuts that I noticed the menacing white slip under my windshield wipers.

Confused, I exited my station wagon to read the paper. It turned out to be a ticket for “lack of valid decal” issued by Campus Police.
However, according to an e-mail sent by Parking Services, ticketing for lack of valid decal was supposed to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 2. which, at the time, was a week away.

When we returned to campus, my roommate discovered that her vehicle, also parked under Eickhoff, received the same ticket.

We both had valid decals for Lot 9 but wanted to take advantage of the convenient parking while we could. Having our cars three floors below our dorm room in Eickhoff was nice while it lasted — very nice and very legal.

We headed over to the department of Administrative Services to fill out applications for appeal.

The officer behind the desk, after hearing our reason for appealing the tickets, admitted that whoever issued the ticket was wrong. She also said Campus Police was given specific orders against such ticketing.

My roommate and I were furious. We felt  wronged and taken advantage of. All this justifiably negative energy was channeled into an immediate trip to Green Hall to hand in our forms. The woman who helped my roommate took her appeal with a smirk. She said she had been receiving them all morning.

According to the Green Hall employee, one overeager Campus Police officer entered Lot 11 early that morning and issued dozens of “lack of valid decal” tickets to fulfill his end of the month quota.

If we hadn’t gone through all that trouble, we would have each been slammed with an undeserved $50 fine. It sickens me to think that some of our fellow students will let that happen to them.

It thoroughly disturbs me that the police officers hired to right the wrongs of our campus are instead having their actions corrected by students.

Margaret Pakutka