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Parking wars on campus

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Ever think you could pay your college tuition with the money collected from campus parking tickets in one single month? The amount of tickets given out on our campus due to lack of convenient parking is a big issue among all commuters.

In the month of February alone, campus police ticketed over 1,100 cars. At $15 a ticket that’s almost $16,000 from one month (and that’s if everyone pays their ticket within the first twenty days). The money collected from these $15 tickets in a single month adds up to more than enough money to pay a student’s tuition.

Regardless of these facts, Lt. Bernie St. George will still tell you that there is not a parking problem on campus.

“Its convenience problem, not a parking problem,” says St. George, “We do what we can to help by having two South Lot shuttles running from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.”

The institution has had professionals come in to observe future parking possibilities and it has been declared that there are more than enough spots on this campus for everyone to park.

When asked if he ever felt bad about giving tickets out he said, “we are not heartless robots, it’s more of a deterrent than a money making scheme. The money from the tickets goes into the general fund for the institution or the state, not into anyone’s pocket.”

Marissa Crandell, a junior here at WSU paid the $100 fee for a commuter sticker, which allows her to park in the Commuter Parking Lot. Crandell, like many other students who pay to park in this lot, struggles when finding spots.

She said, “it’s very frustrating when I have to be late to class when I have paid an extensive amount of money to be able to park here.”

The lack of spots in Commuter Lot causes distressed students to park in spots that put them in violation, resulting in fines. This is a big problem on campus, especially where there are no plans to create more convenient lots.

One thing that students need to understand, aside from their frustration, is that the campus police are not the bad guys. Yes, it is frustrating when one is fined for parking in spots that are not permitted due to lack of spots in convenient Commuter Lot, however, without the police there would be even more trouble.

“It is just our job,” said Lt. St. George.

The people who pay to park in the Commuter Lot have a right to be there and if the police did not monitor the lot, students who have not paid for a commuter sticker would be parking there, taking up the already limited spots.

Shuttle driver Abbey Lemanski hears a lot of frustration from students who come on her shuttle from South Lot.

“A piece of advice that I would give to commuters would be to get to school exactly 15 minutes before their class. There are 15 minute breaks between classes, so if you can get to school right as the class before is getting out, people will be leaving, making spots available,” says Lemanski.

Hopefully one day the campus will develop a plan to create more convenient parking so that students do not have to walk all the way from South Lot. Until then, remember, be patient, you are not the only one who struggles finding spots, the police are here to monitor non-commuters from taking up even more spots, and get to school exactly 15 minutes before your class.

 

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