Each new school year enters alongside a wave of complaints from Florida Southern College students. One of the most common complaints across the student body is a seeming lack of parking availability. Although the Department of Safety and Security remains adamant that there are enough spots for the number of issued parking passes on campus, available parking spaces are not guaranteed to be near a desired dorm or class location. Despite the addition more parking spots near the new safety building, parking remains one of the most frequent nuances of FSC students.
“It takes me about ten minutes to find a parking spot on campus. That’s for a preferred parking spot. Last year, every now and then, I would park in the Branscomb parking lot, but that would take ten minutes as well because I would have to walk back from the opposite side of campus,” junior Emily Cadenhead said.
Lacking parking spots has led multiple students to knowingly break parking rules to park near their housing or near classes. This can prove problematic as well, especially given that safety will be cracking down on parking this semester, giving out more tickets and even towing cars in residential areas.
“We will be towing vehicles that are not registered and are habitual violators. It depends on what tow service we use, however the company of choice is less than 2 miles from campus,” William Carew, Director of Campus Safety and Security said. “Failing to register and parking in Faculty or Staff spaces is the most comment parking violation that occurs,” Carew said.
If a parking rule is broken, safety will issue a safety violation and fine. Ticket prices vary depending on the type of parking violation broken and range from $25 to $100. Fines for parking in a non-parking area, failure to display a parking permit or improper parking will result in a $25 fine. The fine doubles if a vehicle is parked in a faculty spot, parked and unregistered with the Department of Safety and Security or parked in a location that obstructs walkways and fire lanes. Parking on the grass results in a $40 and parking in a handicapped spot will earn violators a fine of $100.
Some students admit that the crack down on parking has caused them to worry, especially since some claim that parking is getting worse with the growing student population.
“I have had my car on campus for two years, so this will be third year having it here. Parking over the time I’ve been at Florida Southern has become a lot more frustrating and more difficult. Depending on the time of day, it can take anywhere between five to fifteen minutes,” junior Allison Badgley said.
While FSC students regularly complain, transfer students admit the FSC is not alone in the parking troubles.
“At my old school, it was a lot bigger and there were still tons of parking problems and you would get parking tickets for everything, so I think it is just a problem at every college everywhere,” sophomore Stephanie Hill said.
If a parking fine is issued a perceived to be unfair, students are eligible to appeal tickets. To do so, students must bring the ticket to the Department of Safety and Security in person and fill out the appropriate form before the day the fine is due. Doing so will not ensure a waved fee, however, it will just begin the process in deciding if the fine will be honored or not.