Blue, green, purple, tan and black: these are the lots a student at Bloomsburg University is allowed to park in. Bloomsburg does allow freshman to bring cars, but they must be parked in a lot that is located past all of the on campus apartments, in the furthest corner of the university property. “As a freshman, I would not recommend bringing your car to school,” a sophomore at Bloomsburg University stated. “The whole process of getting your car is just a hassle. First you have to get a shuttle to the upper campus apartments, and then you have to walk from the bus stop to wherever your car might be park in the blue lot. If you’re driving to the store, you then have to bring your car back to the blue lot, carry all your groceries to the bus stop, wait for the bus and then ride the bus to the lower campus stop.” In other words, bringing a car freshman year isn’t really a luxury; it’s more of a hassle when you need to get it for even the smallest things.
As long as you live in the dorms, having a car on campus is an inconvenience. Community Assistants, also known as CA’s, are in charge of making sure the students and dorms are in order. These students who are hired as CA’s live in the dorms, which means that they have to park their car in the designated dorm resident parking lots. Those lots include the blue and green lot. “Personally I don’t have a car here, but I know a lot of the other CA’s complain about having to park on upper campus,” said a CA in the dorm of Elwell. “I completely think that CA’s should have a parking privilege. We are either the first ones here on campus or the last to leave.”
Although Bloomsburg has five different parking lots for students, there is almost no parking for visitors. “It’s extremely inconvenient to have someone come visit me and know there is really no where for them to park,” a Bloomsburg University student said. “I had my boyfriend come visit from Saturday to Monday, and he parked in front of my on campus apartment. We were both constantly checking to see if he was going to get a ticket for being parked in a lot that’s never full.” This brings up the question of whether or not there should be a designated visitors’ lot for parking.
“My boyfriend comes to see me after he gets off work at 6 a.m., but if I wanted him to stay for breakfast, I would have to go get a permit from the police station at least two times a week,” Bloomsburg University sophomore Lindsey Dotzel said. “I know he
doesn’t have to come visit nearly as often as he does, but it’s just something he does to be nice.” Lindsey has attended Bloomsburg University for three semesters now, and in that time she has received four parking tickets. “The one ticket I got because my meter ran out right before I got back to my car. I had a 50 minute class and the meter is only good for an hour. I don’t know why they thought I would walk to class, which probably took five minutes off my meter, then sit in class for 50 minutes and then walk back, all in an hour!” There are three spots on campus that have meters, but only one of them lasts longer than an hour. Most classes run either 50 minutes or one hour and 15 minutes. There is no way to get to and from class in an hour.”
When approached, a clerk typist at the university police station responded, “I’ll get back to you with the information about parking permits.” And when asked about how many people get parking tickets in a semester here at Bloomsburg University, she laughed, “A lot!” The clerk reported the figures for the fall 2013 semester: approximately 3,300 permits and 5,200 parking tickets
If each parking ticket is $15, then 5,200 of those would equal $78,000. Bloomsburg University makes about $78,000 in parking tickets a semester. That doesn’t include money for cars getting booted or the money that they charge every student to getting a parking permit each semester.
After speaking with several people at Bloomsburg University, it’s time to ask whether the University should make some changes to their parking regulations. Changes might include the CA’s should have their own parking lot, more accessible visitor parking, and meter marking that exceeds the time limit of one hour.