Parking tickets necessary to enforce rules

Parking tickets are issued to people who park in areas on campus for which they do not have a permit. The tickets are given as a reminder of the rules in place regarding parking on campus.  Photo by Tyler Yeager.
For many, a $10 parking ticket is worth the risk when compared to the steep $60 parking pass permitting students to park in the Pirate Hall parking lot during school days. The price of a pass is high and the price of a ticket is low, but there is no excuse for the full parking lot that turns people with passes away and forces them to park at Harding.

After complaints were made to security officer Todd Tardie, he was prompted to write tickets and clear out the parking lot a few weeks ago. Students who wish to park for free can go to Harding and park in that lot. Currently, the main lot spots are $75 and are reserved for students who are involved in leadership activities at school, including ASB, drama, band or choir, while Pirate Hall requires slightly cheaper passes for any other licensed student.

Tickets were given for parking without a pass, in assigned teacher spots or no parking zones. Though it is completely understandable to not want to hand over $60 or $75 for something that seems like a free right, students must learn to accept and follow school rules or pay the price. Tickets can be given as often as the offender is caught and will rise in price as they go. A first offense is $10, and $5 is added to each ticket afterwards, with a call home alongside the third. Many students choose to pay the fine instead of purchasing a pass.

According to Tardie, the money made from tickets and passes goes into the Dean’s Fund, and then back to students by helping to fund club events or help students in need. Though the money may be necessary, administration should take into consideration that more students may be willing to pay if the prices were not so high. However, Tardie said the increase in tickets has prompted a lot of people to purchase passes and the parking lot is quickly becoming full.

Though it can be agreed that it is unnecessarily expensive to pay for parking at school, it should be understood that those who have paid the money deserve to get a decent spot. If the parking were to be first come, first serve, this would not be an issue, but that is not the case. Students can pay for a parking pass in the attendance office, and the price has been dropped to $30 since the school year is more than halfway over.

Tardie must continue to write tickets for the remainder of the school year, and assigned spots should be given to students with passes so they can be sure they will get their spot. Students without passes are less likely to park in a spot assigned to a specific student. This would make it easier to target students who deserve tickets, as a student who did not get their spot is more likely to report it to Tardie. It is not only against school rules to park without a pass in a designated “permit parking only” lot, but is also unfair to those who do not arrive at school early in the day and have paid for a spot to park.