Many of you may have noticed the reserved parking spaces in our crowded parking lots. For $1,500 a year, employees are able to reserve a personal parking spot of their choice. This is a new policy the University has introduced this fall. At a time when parking is already a huge problem here at La Verne, I wonder if this policy is helping to solve that problem.
University employees currently pay $312 a year for the same privilege to hunt for a parking space as our students. With the construction of our new parking structure, employees have been limited to a very small portion of the lots available on campus. Employees who pay for an annual parking pass are finding these spots are being limited by reserved parking.
Who is paying $1,500 a year for a parking spot? Are they employees who are here on a daily basis? Many of these reserved parking spaces are empty throughout the week. These empty spots could be used by other employees if they were not reserved.
What if you accidentally park in a reserved spot that does not belong to you? Is your vehicle towed at your expense? That should create some interesting conversations around the water cooler.
Where does the money for the reserved parking spaces go? Who is profiting from this unfortunate predicament we have all been forced into? Should the University be making money off of their employees from a situation we are all trying are best to cope with?
Lastly, I struggle to see how this policy aligns itself with our values as an institution. How does this foster equality, fairness, or community? A reserved parking spot unnecessarily divides our employees. Not all of us have the disposable income to afford $1,500 for a parking space. Many institutions provide parking for their employees, but La Verne has decided to charge a premium to park at our University.
I encourage the University to rethink this policy. It might be hard to find a parking spot on campus, but that was something employees used to share. From faculty to staff members, it was an equal playing field. Perhaps the University could hold a raffle or a lottery to provide reserved parking spaces to the employees. The University could make some money, but every employee would have an opportunity to get a coveted parking space.
John J Gilmore
LaFetra College of Education