As of Friday, September 18, 62 cars had been towed from the College campus because of parking violations. Though the number is higher than previous years, public safety says that the rules haven’t changed.
“I sent out an email last week and I do it every year, and I try to give [students] a week or two,” said public safety officer Sergeant Tony Brooks. However, “The last few years we weren’t on it so hard,” he said.
Thursday, August 26 was “relaxed parking,” and cars were only towed if parked illegally in fire lanes or handicapped parking spaces. Brooks emailed the campus about parking enforcement on Monday, August 30, and on Tuesday, September 7 ticketing and towing began.
“It’s being enforced fully by the administration,” said Christopher Santiago, the new chief of public safety.
When the towing began, public safety removed any cars without the appropriate decals for the lot. “There are still students that do not have decals but have applied for them,” said Santiago. “I dealt a lot last week with both students and parents over the parking issue…Our office [does] not have access to the records kept by the business office to tell us who has and has not applied for a permit.”
The business office handles the application for and distribution of permits. Public safety and the business office are now communicating to make sure that students who have applied and been approved for decals will not be towed.
Public safety uses the T & R towing company located in Lexington Park. “It’s a yearly thing,” said Shaunte Edwards, the owner. “Everything goes smoothly.”
However, according to Santiago, “We did have a student who …had his vehicle towed …he took his vehicle back from the towing company without making arrangements.”
Both public safety and T & R are working to accommodate students who need to pick up their cars. Students can apply for parking decals online through the Portal and pick up their decals at the front desk of Glendenning Hall. Information on campus parking can be found on public safety’s website at http://www.smcm.edu/publicsafety/parking.html.