Brianna Crysler Contributing Writer
One Saturday morning in the spring semester of my sophomore year, as I made my way from Nutmeg Hall to the visitor parking lot to treat myself to an iced coffee, I was met with a little yellow envelope tucked under one of my windshield wipers. Confused, I scanned the lot, and quickly realized that the roughly twenty other cars in the lot had tickets as well.
I promptly made my way to Public Safety, and filled out an appeal sheet explaining that I had been parking in the visitor’s lot overnight every weekend for months. In fact, I had even been explicitly told by a member of the Constitution Hall office staff that Friday and Saturday night parking was permitted in the visitor lot. Weeks later, after receiving a notice in the mail informing me that my appeal had been denied and I needed to fork over twenty dollars for my fine, it prompted me to question: what is wrong with the ticketing policies at Eastern?
While it’s no secret that south campus parking is always a hassle and inevitably results in a Mario Kart style race to the first available parking spot, a more pressing issue seems to be the nature of ticketing. One prominent issue is that the parking patrol has become overzealous in doling out tickets for minor offenses, such as having a back tire an inch or two onto the parking line or being parked in a restricted area just minutes after the designated time to vacate the lot.
Double ticketing, or charging students multiple times for the same offense, is an unnecessary measure as well and is likely difficult to afford for students in less fortunate financial standing. Rampant curbside ticketing on move-in days is also a frequent occurrence, and ignores the needs of students who don’t have friends or family to assist them. Checking out a moving cart, waiting for the elevator, and transferring heavy furniture is a daunting job for just one person, and requires more than the fifteen-minute parking allotment.
While ticketing for more significant offenses— such as parking in designated faculty spots or on restricted levels of Shakespeare garage— is understandable and sometimes necessary, it might be time to reevaluate the more arbitrary reasons students are being fined. I just hope, at the end of the day, that our twenty-dollar tickets are contributing to a good cause.