We see them all the time, scooting around in their little utility carts. From 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, they're on the prowl. But are the UR Parking Police regulating parking or robbing our pockets?
Parking seems abundant on campus, as there is a parking lot in front of and behind almost every building, but the truth is, the majority of parking lots on campus prohibit student drivers.
In fact, most parking lots on campus allow "FACULTY AND STAFF ONLY." This boggles my mind. I would think we students would outnumber the faculty and staff, and even if we don't, we do LIVE here. Why don't we have priority parking spaces?
And how about the parking police officers themselves? They lurk in every nook and cranny of campus, just waiting for illegal parkers.
If a spot is prohibited for students between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., you can count on the officers being on the hunt for violators at 7 a.m. on the dot. That's right, they are determined to ticket us. After all, they live off our irresponsibility; it's this little thing called commission.
Maybe the parking police should work in conjunction with the Center for Civic Engagement - "Feed the Parking Police: Park Illegally." How about that for a service initiative?
To put the icing on the cake, a portion of our parking fines goes into the beautification of the university. I'm talking about BIG things, like daffodils and mulch, things that make or break a school.
On the flip side, Richmond is attempting to compensate for its strict parking rules with its online appeal system. It is a great way to get out of a parking ticket.
First, you go on the parking page on the University of Richmond Web site. Then, you type in your ticket information and explain why you parked illegally.
Lastly, (the best part of it all), some stranger on the other side of the computer screen, who doesn't give a damn about you or your ticket, holds your fate in his hands, and decides if you are truly at fault for your ticket.
So on your next stroll around campus, wake up and smell the roses (literally). After all, your parking tickets are paying for them.
Contact staff writer Kiara Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org
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