Your Turn: Down With Parking Services

Dear editor,

Ball State University patrons beware: Upbeat ad and P.R. rhetoric will not warn of the luring predators stalking this campus, and once they have your scent there is no escape.

While new administrators spout assurances of a more cooperative approach, their entrenched policy makers escalate a poorly-camouflouged war against their resented work force and the consumer as well.

Doubtless, the most aggressive, dominant predator of faculty, staff and students is Parking Services. Deliberately over-selling lots to ensure violations and fines from naive patrons who wrongly assume the campus will accommodate them is entrapment, pure and simple.

Back when parking fees were first conceived employees were promised never to be charged. Today an unpaid fine can get you fired! Student transcripts are frozen each semester now until tickets are paid, halting new class schedule or graduation. Such unmatched power! Towns and cities must try you in traffic court to collect such fines; only the Sovereign State of Ball can take your job and withhold your education!

Having swelled into a hungry beast with a million dollar per year permits to recover lost revenue from Housing's premium residency deal replacing most Faculty/Staff lots of extort even more from professors and other employees who can't accept hiking absurd distances to their jobs.

The recent heartless acquisition of private properties bordering third parking structure to relieve the undeniable shortage. Considering recent "upgrading" of the existing garages, the main thing "relieved" will be the patrons - of more money.

Parking Services and its muscle University Police say we should be grateful our parking fees are much lower than other campuses. But Labor Relations managers want comparisons to the depressed local economy when arguing service wages, not other universities. Certain middle and upper managers angrily rant that service workers are overpaid, and cheer any policy that rapes our wallets. They seethe as if robbed at gunpoint, when all our work force has ever done was accept the raises offered by management. Just how well-paid are BSU service workers after insurance premiums and parking fees? Not very. A full-time food service worker without an employed mate can't spare the money for Ball State's profitable health insurance, let alone pay to park at their job!

From the early-expiring meters to the mockery that is the ticket appeals process, Parking Services has a sweet racket going. Isn't having the campus cop who oversees ticketing present the petitions to the Appeals Committee with coaching just a little biased?

Every renovation or resurfacing of parking areas always leaves fewer spaces in favor of landscaping. That's so visiting dignitaries flying overhead in private jets can say "What a pretty green campus."

When it comes to swindling its working-class students and employees to kiss-up to big money, this place really does have "everything you need".


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