Stories of Parking Ticket Insanity

Like many Colgate students, I received a $35 ticket from Campus Safety the other day. No, I was not late for class. No, I did not have my hazards on to double-park in front of a dorm. No, I was not rushing to check my mail at the Coop at 3:25 p.m.

I was parking for a job at the Colgate Admissions’ Office.

Now, I will pay the ticket (worth approximately six hours of time at my new job) not because the Appeals process through Campus Safety has never been successful for anyone I know, but because I deserve it. I was driving a car with a student sticker on it and I was parked up the hill before 3:30 p.m.

There’s just no way around it. But there should be.

Now, I don’t think that students should be able to park up the hill before the allotted time for class, errands or what have you. The upper campus just doesn’t have enough room to accommodate everyone with cars. And there are a lot of people with cars here.

But I do think that students working for the school should be given special consideration. After all, we are working for Colgate – just as professors, administration, and Campus Safety officers are. It seems that we should be given the same benefits as every other Colgate employee and not be penalized for trying to arrive fresh and on time to our jobs.

It is not always possible to get rides up the hill. My friends actually have their own lives, jobs, classes, and sports. They do not always have time to shuttle me around. Should I just walk up the hill to the Admissions’ Office? Well, sure, that’s one possibility, but it becomes a bit trickier when you’re dressed in heels and a skirt. Or should I just wear my professional attire all day, even when I have class and it’s seems embarrassing and over-the-top, simply so I don’t have to drive up and down the hill to change? Neither of these options seems all that great, and the fact of the matter is that no other “adult” employees of the university have to grapple with making these kinds of decisions.

I won’t even suggest that students receive permanent decals to affix to our cars. Some students would surely abuse this privilege, using it to park up the hill any old time they wanted. But perhaps each department could give students temporary signs to put in their cars while they worked and return to the department immediately afterward. That way, students wouldn’t be tempted to abuse the privilege and at the same time, they wouldn’t be penalized (as other employees of Colgate aren’t) for doing their job.

In the end, I’ll trudge to Accounting to my 35 bucks, but you better believe I’ll be kicking and screaming the whole way.