Really Furman? Parking Violations? Ticket Totalitarianism.
Parking citations are dumb.
It’s time for Furman, and Furman University Police Office, to evaluate the utility of parking tickets.
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Most Furman students know the dreaded feeling of approaching their car and seeing a tiny slip of paper under their windshield wiper. Parking tickets at Furman are a consequence of going to school here, but should they be? Aside from being an annoyance to students, what do they provide? Is there any utility or benefit to the community?
It’s time for Furman, and Furman University Police Office, to evaluate the utility of parking tickets. The infamous “officer 21” has ticketed most of the student body at this point. There is no data to back that claim up, however, anecdotes from a plethora of students have led me to believe it's true. If you haven’t received a ticket, then consider yourself lucky.
Let me preface everything that I have said, and will say, with this: everyone at Furman knows the crucial role that Furman Police fulfill on campus. Myself and my peers are appreciative of the people who serve to keep the community safe.
With that being said, parking tickets are dumb, to put it bluntly. Furman’s total cost of attendance is $68, 952 per year. Students should not have to pay for parking tickets at a school they pay an extreme amount of money to attend. Similarly, students should not have to pay parking tickets when they pay $100 for a parking pass. Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the campus is supposedly closed to the public, the only people parking are staff and students. Students are feeling stressed, COVID-19 is a concern, we have no break, workloads are piling up and overall people just feel worn out. The last thing students should have to worry about is a parking ticket. There could be, at least, some kind of grace period for this semester and the upcoming one.
A monetary consequence for parking violations is just another way for Furman to exercise authority in an unnecessary mode. Even if a lack of parking spaces was a concern (it isn't), then let’s propose some more constructive consequences. For example, the money that we pay for a parking pass could cover the expenses for any parking violation that a student might receive. Similarly, students could have to attend another CLP instead of paying a fine. Or, students could donate the money they were supposed to pay for a parking violation to a student organization of their choosing. If there has to be a consequence for parking violations then a monetary one should be last in line.
Furthermore, passes should not be coded by parking color or a students’ class. Furman students should have one pass that applies to them. Our beautiful campus has plenty of room on it for people to park, the only stipulation for parking should be owning a pass. Obviously, there are some restricted spaces like handicapped ones, administrator spots, or guest parking and I am not arguing for the removal of these. I am simply asserting that if you are a Furman student, you should not have to worry about where you park or if you’ll receive a remittance fee. I can almost guarantee most professors would rather have a student be on time rather than being late to class because they had to worry about finding a parking spot for their specific parking pass.