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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Knowing the rules may be the best help to avoid parking citations at USU

By Ryan Hall

December 15, 2006 | With so many dishes on a college studentís plate, knowing all the rules becomes a challenge. One particular challenge that can be overlooked is the rules on parking.

According to the 2004-2005 Annual Report on the USU Parking website, Utah State issued 19, 261 parking citations last year. This is small compared to the University of Utah which issued around 86,000, and is nothing compared to Iowa State which had the most citations: 117, 500. However, itís not important for the students and faculty at Utah State to know the rules for the U of U or Iowa State.

Brain Alama, a sophomore majoring in engineering, doesnít like the situation here at USU. "Itís ridiculous, and when there is parking, itís inconvenient parking."

Teresa Johnson, Business Manager for Utah Stateís Parking and Transportation Department, agrees. "There is enough parking on campus at a reasonable rate. Itís not convenient, but thatís how it is."

Johnson says it is the responsibility of the driver to learn the rules and regulations of parking. She says they try their best to educate drivers when they come in to purchase a parking permit. Drivers can also find all the regulations on the Parking and Transportation Services Web site, The website is a thorough source for everything a person might need to know about parking at USU. It has a map of all the parking lots, a list of when all the lots become available to the public, a link to appeal a parking citation and many other links that would help someone learning the rules.

In addition to the Web site, every parking lot has a sign posted at the entrance explaining who may park there and when they may do it.

Utah State has a "Wal-Mart syndrome," said Johnson. People want convenient parking and lots of it. According to the Web site, "Our management is based on the philosophy of a parking triangle with the principles of convenience, inexpensive and sufficient at each point." The site explains that you canít have all three. Parking will give you the benefit of two at the expense of the other. For example: you may have convenient and sufficient parking, but itís not going to be inexpensive; you may have sufficient and inexpensive parking, but itís not going to be convenient. Most situations on campus provide sufficient and inexpensive parking, but it is often inconvenient for those using the lots.

The parking department receives no university support. All funding for the department comes from citation and parking permits, said Johnson. They are required to pay a $7.5 million portion of the new parking terrace in the Living/Learning Center.

There are 10-12 officers who follow a regular route. They check the safety of the campus as well as the parking lots and give out citations to those who are not following the parking guidelines and regulations.

If someone has a legitimate excuse when they receive a parking citation, they may bring their appeal to the appeals officer, Lee Gillenwater. At this point he has three options. He may waive the fine, reduce the fee, or enforce the fee, said Johnson.

An appeal can be made online which is convenient but takes a little longer. It can also be taken care of in the parking office located just north of the football stadium.

The parking situation doesnít have to remain a mystery. Perhaps many people choose to take a chance and hope that luck protects them from citations. However, the best way to avoid citations is to know the rules, and they are easy to find.



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