I think that the University is trying to leach every last cent of future money they can from me. Specifically, I think they are trying to punish me for hanging out with my boyfriend.
Let me explain: here at UND we have a parking problem. That's nothing new or unique; from what I understand most universities have a parking problem and this has been a topic of contention since I've been a freshman (and according to my cousin, for a lot longer).
For the most part, I haven't complained. I tried to go my freshman year without buying a parking permit, but it was impossible (and of the streets anywhere NEAR here you can't park on 7 days a week). Yes, it was a bit annoying to have to walk 4 blocks away to get to my car at night, especially when it's so freezing here for half the year, but you deal.
But it's becoming too much. I've already racked up 190 dollars worth of tickets, and I've had enough (and only half of which I "deserved").
First and foremost, parking permits are 50 dollars this year. My freshman year (3 years ago) they were 43 dollars. (As a side note, my raise as a student employee during that time has gone up 50 cents an hour). But, aside from the fact that the price has gone up at much higher rate than my paycheck, the number of parking spaces has gone down, and I haven't seen the parking areas being maintained. They are building a parking garage on the east side of campus, which will hopefully help this (in a few years). HOWEVER, they put this parking garage in a rather silly spot (it would have made more sense to make it centrally located: behind Tabula would have been nice) and this means those of us who are shelling out 50 bucks have LESS parking spots than what we did last year, for more money. The parking lot behind Tabula is still not paved, and if you live at Johnston/Fulton/ Smith dorm you have to go through an unlit area to get to your car.
I didn't (and still don't) have 50 bucks for a parking permit. "Shoestring" budget doesn't begin to cover it. Here's what I have received tickets for:
15 dollar ticket: Service vehicle area for longer than a half hour. This ticket was at 6 PM, and I was unaware that it was timed after that. This is an unmarked parking spot.
5 dollar ticket: Parking over a half hour at half hour zone. I had my car in the Memorial Union Parking lot to talk to student government. This took me longer than a half hour, so in that time, I went and moved my car to another parking spot in the same parking lot. I was still ticket
25 dollar ticket: no permit shown in a G lot. This was Saturday at the airport: I missed the shuttle to the airport and was running late. I didn't have the permit because I couldn't afford the permit in the first place.
Three 25 dollar tickets: For being in the visitor's lot for more than 3-days. The visitor's lot in question is my boyfriend's place (he lives at on-campus apartments). At no point have I ever been in that visitor's lot for 72-consecutive hours.
Of those tickets, the 5, 15, and two 25 dollar tickets have doubled because I couldn't pay them within 14 calendar days. 190 dollars total (to date), and will probably continue to go up because I don't get paid.
I'm appealing all of these tickets: even the ones where they have me to rights (such as the one at the airport). Not that it makes much of a difference: there is no clear procedure for appealing the tickets, and it's highly subjective: there are no precedent for whose tickets get overturned and those who don't. I also am getting the distinct impression that the parking enforcement officers are following me: I see the same parking officer at least 3 times a day.
I can't pay for the permit, I can't pay the fines, and I sure as hell can't pay the doubled fines. I don't know what the university expects from the students: we pay through the nose to not be able to have a parking spot anywhere near our actual classes in one of the coldest universities in the world, and then charges us extra when we're strapped for cash.
This has to stop. The parking areas should be clearly marked and the fines shouldn't double; or at least there should be some way for someone who can't pay the ticket right away to defer it with out the price increasing. I've decided to write an article for the Dakota Student, and pick a whole bunch of appeals forms. Every time I see a ticket on someone's windshield, I'm going to put an appeal paper underneath it with instructions on how to file for appeal. There needs to be some sort of written protocol for the appeal's process, and one should be able to file them online. Until that happens, every single student should file an appeal. If they are going to waste our money, we should waste theirs.