Parking citations are an unjust punishment

MICHAEL BECKER

Michael Becker is a guest columnist this week. He is senior strategic communication major.

I cringe at the thought of parking at Butler University. He got me again. Another ticket from Butler parking enforcement officer Aaron Chalmers.

It is one of nearly two dozen I have incidentally and haphazardly acquired during the three-and-a-half years I have had a car on campus.

I commute, so I posses a C decal. My car was found and ticketed parking in the A section of Residential College.

All this meant to me was that I needed to find more evasive, clever places to park. Some of the ideas I have tried and succeeded with are not exactly appropriate for me to disclose here. I do not wish to do these things—rather, I am forced to.

Whatever well-meaning planning went into redeveloping parking about a year ago, regretfully, it has been a failure. Somehow, it appears that more student parking has been eliminated, and it angers me. I have a strong inclination this general sentiment is shared by all students.

In fact, let me go ahead and be the first to publicly say this: A complete and utter reconsideration and reformation of parking regulations is more than warranted at Butler University.

Butler  has about 1,138 employees in its service. There are also 4,902 full-time students enrolled here. That means there are slightly more than four students to every employee at Butler. It seems students should have about four times as much parking as these employees. They do not.

When I commute to class, unless I arrive at 8 a.m., I have a lot of trouble find a  spot for C decals in the ResCo lot. I counted the open A-—faculty and staff—spots in the ResCo lot after returning from class. I counted 77 open spots and seven cars.

This is just nonsensical. Prior to this year, Butler University Police Department cited the I-Lot and the future garage as upgrades to parking. Creating the I-Lot down in the trenches of Butler does not begin to address the more relevant issue of parking near campus for commuters, residents, Greeks and Housing Village students that make up the vast majority of the student body.

My reason, though, for writing this piece is less about parking options available to students than the parking citations issued to them.

It so happened that a small group of prospective students was passing through the lot, presumably after a tour of the school. They asked why my car, as well as several others in the aisle, was lit up with bright green tickets beneath the wipers.

I told them Butler’s parking system has no viable options for much of the student body seeking parking, and that I was forced to park in A—since all other spots were unavailable. The smile that was on their faces when they first approached me quickly faded.

The habitual and ludicrous ticketing of students, whose parents could be paying half of their life savings for their child to attend this university, is unwarranted at best.

Once I graduate, I do not plan on giving one dime of the money I earn back to Butler. I have asked administration to leave my name off of any prospective donor list and consider my miscellaneous parking citations as my donations to this university.

Is this “The Butler Way”? I believe The Butler Way talks about “accepting reality, yet seeking constant improvement.” The reality is that BUPD tickets students who do not have a choice of where to park.

We need to collectively start seeking constant improvement of this issue. BUPD now has more of a reputation among students as a ticket-giving body.

My suggestion—create a universal parking decal for all students and allow parking by any student in any lot. Maybe prohibit freshman from having cars on campus. Perhaps administration could add another $200 to tuition as a hidden cost and eliminate parking citations to students altogether. Create more spots. Loosen restrictions. I really do not care.

Whatever incomprehensible moral justification BUPD has for a ticketing hundreds of students per month, it is insane and needs to stop.

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