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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Pricey Parking

Math formulas and the names of philosophers were not the only things Stony Brook University students were worried about at the end of the spring 2009 semester. The struggle students had finding parking spaces, and avoiding parking tickets, also weighed in their minds.

‘It’s because of the crowding problem,’ said Laurie, a secretary in the Parking Services office who declined to give her last name. Last year, 44 percent of the undergraduate population were commuters, according to records from Stony Brook’s website.

‘You can definitely tell it’s too crowded here,’ said Jonathan Loh, a senior who lived in the West Apartments last semester. ‘You used to be able to loop around in the parking lot, but now you have to stop, back up, and turn around because they made the area into new spots. It’s very inconvenient.’

Sasha Idkiss, 22, has managed to illegally park several times, and has not received a ticket. ‘I kind of just make up my own spots,’ said Idkiss. If she is in a lot that has no available spaces, Idkiss will park in any space that her car will fit, even if it isn’t marked as a parking space.

As the number of commuters keep rising, available parking this year is hard to come by. For students who are not as lucky as Idkiss, the consequences can be expensive.

Hillary Scheier, a fifth year commuter at Stony Brook, received a ticket last spring for parking in a metered spot and not paying. ‘I think I know the rules. I mean, after I got my ticket.’ Scheier complained that she was unfamiliar with the parking regulations, and sometimes her lack of knowledge resulted in parking violations.

For those who opt to park in spots that have meters, not paying the meter or letting your car sit past its allowed time, is a risk.

‘Parking enforcement goes to the meter and pulls the tape, which is a print out of who paid and who didn’t pay,’ Arthur Shertzer, Parking Relations and Appeals coordinator, said. The print out tells the officers which spaces are paid for and which spaces are not. The officers look, and if there is a car in an unpaid space they issue a ticket.

Other students, like Nicole Gentile, believe parking officials give tickets just for fun. ‘If you’re even one minute late and they see you coming to your car, you’ll still get a ticket,’ Gentile said.

Students are advised by parking officials to leave their cars in specific designated areas based on their permit. Many times, according to Shertzer, ‘quirky things do happen.’

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