Saint Augustine’s University has implemented several sensible security measures, including restricting visiting hours, closing side gates around campus and more intensive screening at the guard station. Everyone who visits the campus must show a valid ID — either a student ID or a state-issued ID.
However, the tougher parking restrictions have gotten the most attention. Every student is required to purchase a parking decal at the beginning of each semester to park on campus or else their vehicle will get ticketed or towed. Having a student decal separates students from visitors, which can help campus security, so there is a reason to have them.
But when campus police this semester began enforcing the decal requirement more strictly, they did not give students a lot of time to get decals. Students were given a week to purchase the decals and if you didn’t do so you would not be allowed on campus. Many were forced to park on the street.
Many students say, “The cost of the decal is too expensive.” Some also say, “The school should just add the cost of the parking decal to tuition so we wouldn’t have this problem.” I agree. If you can add the costs of Homecoming events to your tuition account, why can’t you add a student decal? They are only $30, but that is a lot to some students.
Shortly after the spring semester began, campus security began preventing students from bringing their vehicles on campus if they did not have a decal. This restriction applies to everyone, including students who live on campus. Security told them that they had to park on the street and a police officer would come and get them from their vehicle and take them to their dorm building.
That is a good safeguard, but how safe is it for students to have to park their vehicles on a street? One student we know of was coming from work and was told she couldn’t park on campus. The next morning when she went to get her vehicle, her driver’s side rearview mirror was broken. Apparently, another vehicle had hit hers and knocked off the mirror.
It is safer and more convenient for students to park on campus. If the cost of the decals cannot be included in our tuition, security should hold off on enforcement until more students are able to find the money to purchase them.
— Shavona Hill