The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Current campus parking policies should get the boot

Waiting in line for a parking spot on our campus is like waiting in line for the teacup ride at Walt Disney World – the wait is just as long and you get the same effect driving around in circles wishing for it to end.

It’s no secret that parking is a significant problem here at SMU. Students are forced to deal with this problem on a daily basis, and it’s not only annoying, it’s time consuming, frustrating and expensive.

The question is when is it going to end? How many pretty little yellow citations are they going to hand out before they just let us go to class?

Full-time students pay over $33,000 to go to school here, along with $230 for a parking permit, yet we are not even provided with enough spaces so we can actually park and go to class. After all, that is why we’re here.

It takes me about only five minutes to get to campus from my apartment, however I have to leave 45 minutes before my class starts just to have enough time to park and walk to class.

All of the parking spaces close to our classrooms are either reserved for faculty and staff, or they are metered parking spaces. It is not a big deal to pay $1 per hour for metered parking, however, the majority of SMU students don’t carry around that much change in their pockets; we carry credit cards or cash, which are worthless to us in this situation.

SMU strictly enforces that there is “absolutely NO free parking on campus for anyone.” This notion seems absurd to me because, according to the parking policy, the current plan “provides parking spaces as conveniently as possible within the available limits,” but “no one is guaranteed a parking space on campus.” At least they’re honest. But we shouldn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for something not guaranteed to us, and we definitely shouldn’t be punished with parking tickets for the university’s inability to provide enough spaces for everyone.

Although a new parking garage is being built, the current number of parking spots for students has decreased to make more spaces for visitors. Many students resort to parking on the residential streets across from campus while many others have no choice other than to park in illegal spaces in order to make it to class on time.

If a student is lucky enough to find a vacant legal spot, they better hope it is the “right one.” I’ve received parking tickets on many occasions even though I was following all the rules, and I know many other students have as well.

Last year my car got booted in a metered parking spot. There was still plenty of time remaining on the meter; however, that wasn’t the problem. The ticket stated “No SMU permit displayed” even though it was properly displayed in the correct place. Thankfully they took the boot off free of charge, but they were extremely rude and I had to wait almost two hours, which made me miss an appointment.

This semester I’ve received three tickets that all stated the same thing – “No SMU permit displayed.” All three times it was a mistake. My parking decal was on the lower left-hand side of my rear windshield – right where it’s supposed to be.

It is almost as if they give tickets to see if you’ll take the time to appeal them, hoping that you’ll just pay them instead.

I appealed every ticket and they were fortunately removed from my account, but it was still an inconvenience and extremely frustrating.

Students should not have to waste their time on parking enforcement’s mistakes. We already have enough to worry about. Hopefully the new parking garage will be completed in an expedient manner and consequently alleviate the parking problem on our campus. After all, we’re just trying to go to class.

Andrea Netti is a junior CCPA major. She can be reached at [email protected].

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