Changes to policy prohibit gold lot parking


Joseph Tingley

The Office of Safety and Sercurity will enforce the new parking policy which prohibits parking in gold lots at any time, even weekends.

The Office of Safety and Security will begin to more stringently enforce the new parking policy on Sept. 1, according to Director of Campus Security Jeffrey Schneider. The new policy will prohibit student parking in all gold lots on campus at all times.

Until June when the new policy was adopted for students staying on campus for the summer, students with registered vehicles were allowed to park in gold lots from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m during the week and from 5 p.m. on Friday to 7 a.m. on Monday. Under the new policy any student vehicle parked in a gold lot will be subject to ticketing.

Schneider said that the issue of student encroachment into gold lots, which are designated for employees, is something that has been brought up before to the Parking Appeals Committee, which ultimately rules on changes to the school’s parking policy.    

“One of the major areas of concern that has been creeping up each year is the gold parking lots,” said Schneider.

Each year the college struggles with the issue of students parking in the gold lots and taking spaces that are reserved for college staff and faculty.

“We’ve gotten a lot of complaints over the years abouts students parking in gold lots,” Schneider said.

Although he said his officers do patrol the parking lots as part of their normal duties, Schneider said that it is not something that they specifically look for.

“We do patrol but it’s when we get complaints that we have to do something,” Schneider said.

Schneider said that the reason for the change in policy was that students parking in gold lots on weekends or at other designated times would often fail to move their cars. He said this becomes an especially challenging problem in the winter when student cars were stuck in those lots hindering snow removal efforts.

“Then we have to chase students down and sometimes that is a very timely proposition. We don’t have the luxury of manpower resources to do that all the time,” Schneider said.

In addition to keeping spaces open for staff, Schneider said that the new policy will help to keep parking lots clear of snow, a major concern in the winter as large amounts of snow reduce the number of available parking spaces.

“Our parking lots shrink,” Schneider said. “The snow just builds up and before you know it a 50 stall lot becomes 25.”   

Schneider said that by keeping the gold lots free of student cars the physical plant can clear those lots and then have students move their vehicles to the cleared lots while they work to remove snow from the student lots. He said this will mean fewer student vehicles becoming stuck.

“It’s going to benefit them in the long run,” Schneider said.

Despite assurances that the policy will benefit them, many students have voiced opposition to the new policy.

“It seems like there shouldn’t be any reason why not if no one is parking there,” said Nick Poling, ’18.

Lucas Van Meter, ’18, said that being able to park in gold lots would make things easier for many students. He said that freshman living in Baldwin Hall are forced walk up hill to the Oddfellows building parking lot in order to get to their vehicles.

In addition to the distance from their building, he said that dealing with the limited space in that lot also makes things more challenging than it has to be for students.

“If you have a bigger vehicle it is a little tougher,” Van Meter said.

Many students took to the social media site Yik Yak to vent their frustrations. One post criticized the school for not having enough parking spaces for students. Schneider said that parking on campus is a “premium” given the college is located within a community and does not have the luxury of large open spaces for parking lots.

“When you look at the number of parking permits we issue and the number of spaces they are very close,” Schneider said.

Schneider said that this close ratio is offset in part by the fact that many students chose to park on the streets rather than in their designated parking lots. He said this helps the situation, however this also makes snow removal difficult in the winter months.

Students who have received a parking ticket from campus security can appeal the ticket to the Parking Appeals Committee at the end of each semester, Schneider said. He said that the office of Safety and Security also works to negotiate with students who have been ticketed in an effort to reduce the number of cases that the committee hears.

“We work well with the students in that regard,” Schneider said.