Editor’s note: This story was written before the COVID-19 emergency.
Every student has a story about parking on WVSU’s campus, whether it be acquiring a parking pass or getting a ticket.
Drivers receive tickets for many reasons: parking in faculty spots, having no sticker, staying too long in 15-minute parking spots. The list goes on. A lot of students are not happy about parking rules the State Board of Governors approved.
“Tickets are issued based on Board of Governors by law of the parking regulations of the school. That’s why we’re giving them out,” said Darian “Gary” Elmore, campus security parking enforcer.
He said parking stickers are a student requirement and lead to a safer campus.
“In order to actually have a safer campus, you have to be able to have an idea who’s on campus,” Elmore said. “With an open campus, you don’t know who is coming to the institution.”
Even with the parking stickers, WVSU is an open campus with many public events scheduled in State facilities. What about non-students who are going to the events?
“The institution needs to find a better way to notify non-students that you must get a parking pass to park,” Elmore said. “If you’re a visitor, you’re probably not going to worry about the red parking spots and probably won’t notice the stickers on cars.
“If it’s during business hours, the departments that are hosting the events need to notify Public Safety to make sure no tickets are written, but mistakes (have) happened before.”
These mistakes can be fixed, though, by voiding tickets, but it may not be as easy as it sounds.
“If the ticket is legit, voiding the ticket reduces the revenue of the police at Institute,” Elmore said.
“That hurts WVSU as a whole,” he said.
What should a motorist do about a ticket that he or she believes was written in error? Who do you go to?
“Technically, they can go to the school website and go to parking appeals,” Elmore said. “The Department of Appeals committee votes on the ticket.”
Each ticket costs $15. Motorists who get more than seven tickets could find a restraint device on their vehicles. If the infractions continue, police can tow vehicles.
“Every semester we put five, 10 boots on a vehicle,” Elmore said.
If tickets aren’t the main issues around campus, what is?
Parking spots being too small or short is one. State upgraded the Cole Complex parking lot to make parking spots much bigger. State had heard complaints about drivers hitting other vehicles while they are trying to park.
Another one is not having enough visitor parking spots on campus for the bookstore and eating locations. The rule today requires someone wanting to buy a WVSU football shirt at the bookstore to get a visitor’s parking pass. Visitors probably wouldn’t know about that requirement to get a pass.
“They should make 20-minute parking spots outside (the) bookstore or BRB,” said Mark Akers, WVSU bookstore manager. “That way, if non-students want to come shop, they don’t need a pass, like the spots at Ferrell.”