The Temporal Front: Critics of Ball State Parking Services should consider campus without it

Imagine a campus without Parking Services.

Before you celebrate, consider the deeper ramifications of such a scenario.

As 5,000 cars come from the stadium lots and off campus, spaces would disappear. There would be no meter spaces available for guests, visiting high school students, or those doing business. Every lot on campus would be filled with freshmen.

There wouldn't be a space available anywhere. Commuters and faculty alike would park at the stadium. Once that happened people would accept the facts. They would recognize the absolute necessity of parking enforcement.

Parking on this campus is not perfect. To facilitate a solution to this problem, there are three simple steps that will completely eliminate parking problems and student displeasure.

Step 1: Follow the rules. Park where you have a permit, follow the signs and pay your meter. Saying that there aren't any spaces in your lot is not true. Even commuter spaces are available on the north end of campus (I looked myself). It is unfortunate that commuters must park way out there, but it is still better than walking in from wherever you live. If you find yourself in a situation that you can't follow the simple rules, follow step two.

Step 2: Be responsible. If you get a ticket or get towed, take responsibility for your actions. Pay your tickets and fines, or face the boot. You broke the rules, so you must accept the punishment. College students don't have lots of money, but the rules are the rules. That leads us to step three.

Step 3: Do not whine. Whining doesn't do any good. The rules are the rules. Everyone has to follow those same rules, from the President down to an incoming freshman. They don't change on a person to person basis. You don't get unique treatment because you believe you are special. Appealing on that basis is sure to return a denial. Trust me, I've gotten one.

Parking's biggest problem (besides students not following the rules) is misconceptions. People think that more spaces are sold than available. It's all a play on numbers, and parking critics play those numbers well.

Lots are sold to capacity, but that does not mean that spaces are oversold. For example: if parking has 15 spaces available in a lot and sells exactly 15, not all 15 will be used all the time. Perhaps seven will be used at any given time. With eight open spaces the people who couldn't get a permit would be very angry. If parking sells 20, students cry corruption. Parking can't win either way.

It was reported that the meter lot next to the student center has been removed because faculty had too little space to park. That is not true. The truth is that few people used the metered lot so it was changed. Those using the student center still have a few meters there, and an entire parking garage floor. The truth got lost in the scramble to attack Parking Services.

If you keep these things in mind, and follow the simple steps, parking could be better.

But it won't happen.

Students will always believe that they are above the rules. Responsibility will never reign on this campus.

Parking Services must exist to ensure that spaces are available for those who do follow the rules.

Write to Russell at rlg@temporalfront.com


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