It is halfway through the fall semester at John Brown University and campus security continues to patrol the parking lots.
Campus Safety Director Scott Wanzer is optimistic.
“We are limited in the physical space that we have for parking lots, but we are in good shape compared to many universities,” he said.
Designated parking signs have been posted and campus security continues to hand out pamphlets in an attempt to alleviate freshman-parking confusion. Returning students should have noticed something different outside their respective parking lots: clearly designated parking signs describing who can park there and when.
“Some of the parking lots had signs posted at the entrances, but only about half of them,” Wanzer said. “We depended on the published campus-parking map, which was good, but it was a desire to strengthen the system that caused us to put signs at all the lot entrances. We just finished the project so time will tell. I think it will have a positive affect with communication and will reduce the quantity of citations that are issued.”
“It has been a lot of work for the work-study employees to put in all the signs, but as of last Monday all the lots were covered,” campus safety work-study employee, Jonathan MacLachlan said. “This will hopefully reduce the number of parking violations given and will save money for confused college students.”
Because of the changes being so recent, campus safety is waiting to see the response.
“It is still too early to tell whether these signs are a saving grace for those parking challenged students,” said senior campus security work-study, Brandon Blackman.
However, Blackman said it is not just the signs alone offering guidance.
“For example, there is the parking brochure that is given to every person when they receive their decal, the lot map is also available on the school website,” Blackman said. “Also, perhaps the easiest way if a student is confused is to call campus safety hotline and ask the officer on duty if it’s okay to park in a certain lot.”
Blackman said he writes on average 10-15 parking tickets per shift for violations. The students “sincerely concerned about parking legally” stand out he said.
As a student himself, Blackman still believes the parameters in place are justified.
“I believe the ticket/boot system is more than fair. Officer Wanzer is someone who demonstrates incredible grace and has designed the system in a way that makes it easy for us to see who is abusing his or her rights to park on campus,” Blackman said. “99 percent of the time the driver was aware they were parking illegally, but chose to violate out of convenience.”
Understanding certain circumstances in college life call for hasty parking, Blackman expounded.
“I can totally relate with that and respect the decision of drivers who park illegally. They then must respect the consequences though,” Blackman said. “The question for the driver is if the convenience gained by parking illegally really worth the $20 fine?”