Campus Safety battles oversold parking permits – The Saint Anselm Crier
In recent weeks, numerous students have expressed their concerns about the lack of on-campus parking. As hundreds of students have been granted parking permits for this school year, available parking spaces appear to be decreasing. Campus Security has addressed these issues and clarified Saint Anselm’s parking policy.
The key problem raised by the students is not being able to find an available parking space in the designated parking space that their parking permit allows. This has resulted in students parking in undesignated lots or in non-overnight parking lots. Unauthorized parking will result in unwanted subpoenas, and students will be fined $40. Sophomore Caroline Rogers commented, saying: “It’s ridiculous that I’m getting tickets when it’s not my fault the parking lot is full.”
The director of campus security, Robert Browne, is aware of the issue of the subpoenas but offered clarity on why students still need to be held accountable for parking violations. Browne said, “Yes, they will be held accountable,” which was obviously seen as unfair and uncomfortable for the students. However, he explained that “parking rules and regulations are very specific and that parking in certain lots is only permitted if they have such a permit that allows them to do so.” Students are not allowed to park in spaces that are not in theirs permit and if they do not comply with regulations they must be fined to avoid the trickle down effect.
What caused these problems and why have they appeared now? IPS, the third party used by Saint Anselm to issue permits, incorrectly oversold parking permits this year. Browne tells us that “nearly 600 students live at the university [senior apartments] and only 350 parking spaces,” he explains the shortage of parking spaces. While the blame doesn’t lie with the students who live in the area, Browne explained that “FBC passports are on a first-come, first-served basis.”
While it’s understandable that an innocent mistake was made, students still feel put off by the unavailability of parking. Sophomore Chloe Mason said, “I just feel like if I’m paying hundreds of dollars to park my car, I’m paying hundreds of dollars for a spot in my designated parking lot.” Politics is a common frustration in the student body, explained Browne, however, she “does not guarantee parking in the area where the vehicle may be registered.”
Mutual frustration seems to arise from the issue, according to Browne, that there is “ample space with the current parking lots on campus to allow students to park. The location may not be the most convenient place.” To avoid parking in an unauthorized location, you may only need to walk 10 minutes from the south parking lot behind the Sullivan Arena.
Students also noticed the amount of parking lots where overnight parking is not possible. Several spots along the soccer field allow parking during the day but not at night.
Sophomore Caroline Rogers said, “What’s the difference? If they can be there during the day, what’s so different at night?”
Although this may seem inconvenient, Browne stated that the rationale for this is: “We spend a significant part of the school year under the threat of snow. These areas are needed for snow removal.” The threat of snow is a major concern at our New England school, so it takes acceptance and collaboration to preserve these dual-purpose sites.
The idea of creating new space is questionable as Browne was told that “parking is in the planning equation for the expansion of the new athletics complex” but otherwise he has “no further information on additional parking”. The new athletics complex will inevitably make changes to the campus, so keep an eye out for other possible changes related to parking.
Although the newly noticed parking issues can be an inconvenience, there are other ways to park in unauthorized lots. By clarifying which parking spaces are allowed with your permit, make a note of when and where you can park. If you can’t find a seat, a nice walk across campus from the Sullivan lot can help ease that frustration.