Students Face New Parking Problem

CARLOS VILLARREAL
El Vaquero Staff Writer

To add to an already aggravating parking situation on campus, a new policy now threatens students with citations or even towing.

With the price of parking permits rising, a lack of spaces available and the building of a new parking structure that has decimated the lot on the hill, the daily battle for parking is only worsened by a recent policy adopted by the campus police to cite or tow vehicles not picked up before 4:30 p.m.

The policy affects student vehicles parked in lots supervised by valets, which are Lot B, 30 and 32. Students are supposed to retrieve their keys from the valets before 4:30 p.m. and if they do not do so by the alloted time, their keys will be sent to the campus police station.

Once they arrive to claim their keys, students are handed a slip that warns them that if they do not retrieve their keys by 4:30 p.m. they may be cited or be towed at their expense.

As parking woes continue to grow, this new policy adds insult to injury, as students are completely unaware of the policy.

Under the policy, the valets are supposed to inform students what do in the event that the keys are not retrieved by 4:30 p.m. As some students wander around confused about the disappearance of the valets and their keys, the lack of posted information adds to their worries.

“I had no idea about that,” said Hera Arabian, 19, an advertising major. “You would think they [the valets] would tell you about it.”
“I park in the valet lots all the time and I had no clue about that policy,” said Narine Avetisyan, 19, an English major. “They [the valets] do not post any information about it anywhere and I have full-time classes, so I should have seen a sign or something by now.”

“The valets are supposed to tell you verbally about the college police’s policy regarding parking,” said Enrique Sandoval, special event supervisor of Twin Valet Parking, the second company hired to provide valet service for the campus. Information regarding the first company hired is unknown.

“If you leave your keys with the valet past 4:30 p.m. the keys will be picked up by the campus police,” said Sandoval. “There was once signs posted informing students about the policy, but the signs disappeared, they might have been stolen.”

Phone calls to college police spokesperson, Nidal Kobaissi, about the policy, were not returned.

With the price of parking permits rising this fall and the loss of 350 parking spaces in Lot B due to the construction of the new structure, the policy regarding valets and towing may be the final straw for some students.

“People pay $50 for their parking permit;” said Arabian. “Soon it will be $65 and now they can get towed in a GCC lot for simply not picking up their keys. It’s enough to anger any student,”
“I would be so outraged if I [my car] was towed,” said Avetisyan. “Parking is hard enough as it is; to have your car towed would just be like adding salt to a wound.”

Some students are confused about why the valets are off duty so early in the afternoon. “Most students have classes pass 6 p.m. so why are the valets off at 4:30 p.m.” said Arabian. “They should be there till at least 6 p.m.”

As for the fear of citations and towing students, “To my knowledge, no one has been cited for leaving their keys pass 4:30 p.m.,” said Sandoval. “Some students have received tickets for not having parking permits and having their parking meter out of time.”

As parking problems continue to worsen and the scheduled completion of the new structure aimed for next year, students are forced to perhaps gamble with the choice of being towed or not finding parking at all.