Parking grace period eliminated

Brittney Taylor

Saddleback students returning to campus after winter break received a rude awakening: over the break the parking offices decided that there would no longer be a two-week grace period before ticketing for a lack of parking permit.

This came as a huge shock to some students, who were not notified in advance. In fact, the only visible notification was the three tiny signs posted at the entrances of the college.

“There are 15 signs usually at the school’s entrance,” said Francesca Longobardi, 18, biology.

While the Saddleback parking office did not post notification on Saddleback’s main web page or MySite, they did adjust the Parking Services page on the website.

This page can be accessed by clicking on the Campus Police/Emergency Procedures link under the Faculty/Staff heading and then by clicking on the “Parking Permit” link under Safety Bulleting.

“[That is] the only place to tell us that there is no more grace period and students have to hunt for it,” said Katelin Neal, 21, psychology. “And no student would think to even look that information up before the semester starts because everyone is already accustomed to the way things were. This is a very sneaky trick.”

Neither Campus Police nor the Parking Services staff was available for comment.

Students without a parking permit will be ticketed, as stated in the Parking Services manual online.

“Why did they change the rule now,” Longobardi asked. “I talked to the parking staff when I purchased my permit and they said that since people can buy them online, there is the ability to continually print temporary permits.”

Just as Saddleback used to waive having a parking permit for the first two weeks of the semester, Irvine Valley College continues to allow students the leeway of dealing with back-to-school stress without ticketing.

“The grace period is a fantastic luxury afforded to students,” said Nolan Sainick, 23, economics. “During the first couple weeks of school, parking is a nightmare and things are settling in. We already have to arrive more than half an hour early to get a spot, and who has time to worry about permits when we are trying to make it to our classes.”

There is already animosity between many students and the parking staff after the removal of the free parking on College Dr. in front of the BGS and SM buildings.

“First they get rid of the free parking, and now they take away the grace period,” said Peter Ballew, 18, undecided.”Not all students can afford to buy parking permits and now the school is forcing it and ticketing right away. I think it’s just another way to make money.”

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