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Parking not truly free for students

emmaopinionsIt’s time to address how absolutely horrendous Concordia’s parking situation is. On an average day, I will drive through at least two parking lots before settling on the Hoyum lot or parking on the street. Other than the residence hall lots, all the other parking lots have very ambiguous signs that have never totally made sense to me – but maybe I’m just an idiot. And, if you do park incorrectly in one of these ambiguously marked lots, you get a ticket from Parking Services.

This brings us to another concern. These tickets are literally meaningless. I have probably received no less than four parking tickets from Concordia. I have appealed – and had my appeals approved – for no less than four parking tickets from Concordia. So, the moral of the story here is that if you want to intentionally park incorrectly, go right ahead. Just shoot an email to Parking Services that says something along the lines of, “Sorry, I didn’t realize I couldn’t park in this lot overnight,” and suddenly, your ticket concerns are gone. How convenient is that?

Dear students, I’m sorry if anyone from Parking Services reads my column and now we’re all going to have to actually pay our fines. When I officially decided to go to Concordia, one of the first things I looked into was how much a parking pass costs. To my surprise, it was free. My parents were initially hesitant to let me bring a car to school, but after hearing that they could get my car out of the driveway for free, it was an easy choice. I doubt I’m the only one who can say this. But, hear me out, what if we charged for parking passes? More expensive passes allow you to park in a wider variety of lots – and these lots are explicitly stated. Then, any tickets will hopefully be much less frequent, and when they are given to students, they will be warranted. This way we can also eliminate the cars that sit in the Livedalen lot untouched for months because the driver just didn’t have room for it in their garage at home, and this was a seemingly free alternative. We all know that parking isn’t actually free anyway. It’s surely factored into our $40,000 tuition.

So, let’s be honest about where students are putting their money, and only charge those who bring a car to Concordia for parking.

Dear Parking Services, students are mad. They have been mad about parking for years, always for different reasons. From what I’ve read, improvements have been made, but there’s still a ways to go. On October 6, 2016, a Twitter exchange pretty accurately summed up the attitude most Cobbers have toward on-campus parking:

@mariah_ann2015: “Why tf do students get so many parking tickets?? Like there’s no space & we sold our souls to afford going here?? What else do you want??”

@probablyrach: “kidney plz”

@ASRudd: “They have to make up the budget deficit somehow. #staybrokecobbers”

Students shouldn’t feel like their school has it out to get them, especially financially.

Now, let’s talk about the literal blood-sucking demon that is Moorhead street parking. Okay, City of Moorhead, I get that you have garbage trucks and snow plows. But, you also have ridiculous limits on parking on literally every neighborhood street. Maybe if my school had reasonable parking available, this wouldn’t be an issue, but as I’ve already discussed, it doesn’t. I don’t want to pay $25 for parking for 3 hours and 15 minutes on 9th Street. Moorhead clearly doesn’t thrive off of tourism (surprisingly, we don’t have a whole lot of people coming in to visit our movie theater or bowling alley). I am fairly convinced that Moorhead is what one could call a “Parking Ticket City,” meaning it funds itself solely off of arbitrary parking tickets. Okay, you’re right, this is an empty claim. But, it’s a fair assumption to make.

Dear City of Moorhead, my most recent ticket is number 160401504. Feel free to appeal that baby if you’re so inclined to do so after I referred to your street parking as a “literal blood-sucking demon.” (Dear Mom, sorry for getting a parking ticket. I paid it.)

There’s really nothing I can do about Moorhead street parking, but a rant never hurt anyone. But, maybe if students started complaining to the right people, we could actually do something about Concordia’s parking. Whether or not you agree with my suggested solutions, you probably agree that a problem exists. Make sure the right people know you think so.

And with that, I leave your corn buttered.

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