Ever since The Carnegie Foundation named UH a Tier One research institution, the school has been sent into a frenzy of refurbishment and revitalization. UH has been revamping its campus for years now and new buildings have been sprouting left and right.
For the most part, the school has made accommodations to cope with the influx of new students — as would be expected from a “Tier One” university — except in one area: parking and transportation.
Sure, there are plans in the works for new garages, but these plans have been lagging behind other buildings — which have been built over the course of a few months. In the meantime, students get citations and just plain ridiculous fines.
Parking tickets are nothing more than a form of racketeering at this school. The basic principle is you pay UH money for a parking sticker. The parking sticker allows you into lots that allegedly protect your vehicle from the surrounding area.
If you can’t find a parking spot in the extremely insufficient parking lots, you can park in any spot and undoubtedly receive a fine.
After all, you don’t want to be late for class, right?
If a fine is not paid within 21 days, the fine doubles and UH automatically adds the cost to your bill, effectively giving you less time to collect money than a landlord does for rent.
Students can either fight the system and appeal the ticket, or pay the ticket in less than 48 hours, reducing the price of the fine.
The latter gives students incentive not to argue with the University and simply pay up. The fact that a parking ticket has to be appealed online proves they either don’t want to face students’ legitimate anger or that they don’t have a staff large enough to deal with their parking and transportation problems.
The process can only be laughed at in the most sardonic fashion because the underlying message is obvious: Screw your concerns and pay us our money.
Of course, anyone could take the METRO and avoid parking altogether if they’re willing to constantly deal with untrustworthy buses and wait for up to an hour and a half, depending on geographic location.
Students should castigate this entire process when appealing their tickets and should take complete offense to this deplorable way of siphoning money.
Be blunt to an institution that is indifferent to your wallet. UH parking is laughing at students all the way to the bank.
Nick Bell is a media production senior and may be reached at [email protected].