Campus Safety Confronts Oversold Parking Permits

Resident parking lot next to Saint Anselm baseball field

Courtesy/ Rome Spiniello

Resident parking lot next to Saint Anselm baseball field

Caroline Moran, Crier Staff

In recent weeks, numerous students have raised their concerns regarding the lack of parking availability on campus. As hundreds of students have obtained parking permits for this school year, available parking spaces appear to be diminishing. Campus security has addressed these issues and provided clarity on the parking policy at Saint Anselm. 

The focal issue that students have addressed is not being able to find an available parking space in the designated lot that their parking permit allows. This has led to students parking in undesignated parking lots or in non-overnight parking spots. With unauthorized parking comes unwelcome citations, in which students have to pay a $40 fine. Sophomore Caroline Rogers voiced her input about that, saying, “it is ridiculous that I’m getting parking tickets even though it’s not my fault the lot is full.”

Director of Campus Security, Robert Browne, is well aware of the issue of citations, but offered clarity as to why students must continue to be held accountable for parking violations. Browne said, “Yes, they are being held accountable,” which has obviously been deemed unfair and inconvenient to students. However, he explained that “the parking rules and regulations are very specific, and detail that parking in certain lots is only permitted if they have such a permit allowing them to do so.” Students are not authorized to park in spots that are not included in their permit, and if regulations are violated they must be fined to avoid the “trickle down effect” it has. 

What caused these issues, and why have they arisen now? IPS, the third party vendor utilized by Saint Anselm for the issuing of permits, mistakenly oversold parking permits this year. Browne informed us that “there are nearly 600 students living in the [senior apartments] and only 350 spaces,” offering reasoning to the shortage of parking. Though the fault is not on the students living in that area, Browne explained that “the FBC passes are a ‘first come, first serve basis.’”

Though understandable that an innocent fault was made, students still feel put off by the unavailability of parking. Sophomore Chloe Mason said, “I just feel like if I’m paying hundreds of dollars to park my car, I’m paying hundreds of dollars for a spot in my designated lot.” The policy is a common frustration among the student body, however, Browne explained, it “‘does not guarantee a parking space in the area where the vehicle may be permitted.’” 

Mutual frustration seems to be resulting from the issue, so Browne said that there is “ample room with the current parking spaces on campus to have students park. The location just might not be the most convenient spot.” To avoid getting any citations from parking in an unauthorized spot, you might just have to make the 10 minute walk from the South lot, located behind Sullivan Arena. 

Students have also noticed the amount of parking spaces that don’t allow overnight parking. Several spots along the football field allow parking during the day, but not at night. 

Sophomore Caroline Rogers said, “What’s the difference? If they can be there during the day then what’s so different about at night?” 

Though that may seem inconvenient, Browne indicated the reasoning for that is “we spend a significant amount of the school year under the threat of snow. These spaces are needed for snow removal operations.” The threat of snow is prominent at our New England school, so acceptance and cooperation are necessary to maintain these dual-purposed spots. 

The idea of creating new spaces is in question, as Browne was informed that “parking is in the planning equation for the expansion of the new track and field complex,” but other than that he has “no further information about additional parking.” Alterations to campus will inevitably be made by the new track and field complex, so look out for other possible alterations regarding parking. 

Though the newly noticed parking issues may present an inconvenience, there are other options to parking in unauthorized parking spaces. By clarifying which lots are allowed with your permit, make note of when and where you are authorized to park. If you can’t find a spot, a nice walk across campus from Sullivan lot can help ease that frustration.