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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Rant of the Week: Parking Appeal Committee Ineffective and Inefficient

Photo courtesy of Liz Kameen.

If you have ever been a South Campus resident with a vehicle during any sort of Bethlehem festival, you deserve some sort of financial or emotional compensation for the amount of stress and aggravation they cause. 

Actually, you deserve compensation for just being a South resident with a vehicle in general — or, even, being a South campus resident at all. But that’s a rant for another day – oh wait, I’ve covered it about … three or four times already? 

If you’re a South resident with a car, there’s apparently nowhere to park your car on North campus before 4 p.m., arguably when it is most necessary. 

Parking issues are not a new thing for Moravian’s campus – we’re landlocked within a city, and the lack of parking is understandable. What isn’t is Moravian’s lack of awareness and timely resolution of these issues. 

Take Celtic Fest. It’s pretty jarring that this festival happens every single year, and every year, the University still doesn’t have any sort of an effective solution. 

The temporary lot that South campus residents were directed to filled within hours of the email regarding this new parking lot. Lot U was also completely full, as it already houses commuter and faculty parking while somehow also fitting South Campus Guarantee parking. 

Lot U is almost full every day, with these populations rightfully parking there, but during Celtic Fest, people were fully tailgating in Lot U as well – obviously not Moravian students. 

Instead of ticketing this group of people, though, parking enforcement decided to lay a sea of yellow tickets on every windshield in the parking lot of Moravian students with nowhere else to park. 

Also, the parking appeal committee didn’t meet until halfway through the semester after many Student Holds were already placed on accounts with parking tickets. If you have a Student Hold, you can’t plan or register for classes, file working documents, or fill out AMOS travel agreements, among many other essential features. 

This means students with appeals just have to pay the ticket and hope for a reimbursement a couple of months later. I’m not sure about you, but a $75 parking ticket wipes out my bank account, and it’s pretty frustrating when there are no parking spots available in my designated lot, yet students are the ones punished.

Oh, don’t worry; when I called Campo, they didn’t give me special permission to park in a different lot for the night; they wanted me to drive to North campus, write down my information in the Campo building, park in Lot A overnight, and then wait for the shuttle to take me back to North campus at 9 p.m. I don’t know about you, but I have an extremely rigorous schedule and don’t have time to spend two hours parking my car on a campus I don’t even LIVE AT! 

Oh, did I mention that there is no form of contact or second form of appeal once the parking committee has decided on your case? In my appeal response, it was blatantly clear that there was a huge misunderstanding within their decision-making process, yet I have no way to contact them regarding this. 

The appeal denial email states, “The Parking Appeals Committee spent considerable time on reviewing your appeal and as such, there are no second appeals in this situation,” which I highly doubt for multiple reasons. 

The people on this committee are students and faculty and have more important obligations than solving parking ticket appeals, so finding a time to meet is understandably hard. But, if they had not meant until halfway through the semester with probably a hundred-plus appeals piled up at that point, I don’t think they are spending a considerable amount of time reviewing every individual appeal and its context. 

In addition, the University has no transparency about this committee at all. Any sort of search into the Parking Appeal Committee is fruitless, while other schools, such as East Stroudsburg University, have a page explaining the process in detail, with a limit of ten days to review the appeal and render a decision.

The only information I know about the appeal committee is that one USG representative serves on that body anonymously, and that is only because I am a member of USG. That information is not displayed anyway, as far as I know, on Moravian websites. 

Of course, the members should be anonymous, but students deserve to know something about the process and whether the traffic enforcers who file the tickets are making the appeal decisions. 

I’ll pose a question to finish the rant: where does the money go from parking tickets? Does it go into student scholarships or resources, the debt for the new HUB renovations, or somewhere else? 

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