By Alexa Low
Parking has been an ongoing discussion in Quincy University’s security office.
“The rule for parking is this: you can park anywhere on campus with two exceptions. It can’t be prohibited by law or sign and it has to be an actual parking space. Otherwise you can park anywhere you want to,” Sam Lathrop, head of security, said.
A QU issued parking sticker is mandatory for students who park in campus lots and on the streets adjacent to campus. Students who do not have stickers will be cited once the car is identified. Once identified students will be forced to put a sticker on their car.
The stickers are necessary so that security can get in contact with a student quickly if their car needs to be moved.
Those who continue to park without a QU parking sticker will have a boot placed on their car so that they have to talk to security.
When it comes to parking on the street in front of campus, yellow curbs are the only spots off limits.
North 18th street, along C lot, has recently been a popular area for students to park.
“When I first came here seven years ago, those curbs were pretty yellow. Since then, the city has chosen not to paint those [curbs],” Lathrop said.
There is an ordinance in place for the city of Quincy that prohibits parking on North 18th, however it is currently unenforceable due to the curbs no longer being yellow. The corners of the road have been newly painted yellow, making it seem like the city has intentionally left the curbs bare.
“Whatever the case, it is unenforceable the way it is and our students and staff and faculty are taking advantage of that,” Lathrop said.
Lathrop has discussed the issue with city council member, Dave Bauer, and they both agreed the street is wide enough for campus parking.
As far as city streets surrounding campus, QU student parking is not allowed.
This rule was enacted by the city council in cooperation with the University so people who own homes adjacent to campus have the ability to park in front of their houses.
There has been some talk to close Padua lot off and making it pass only so handicap parking is always available along with people picking and dropping off trash and food have more access.
“We really stepped up enforcement there because Padua lot had been problematic,” Lathrop explained.
For now, security will continue to be more stringent on enforcement there.
“It’s such a problematic area. The cafeteria has their food delivered there two to three times a week and if the truck can’t get in then they don’t get their food deliveries and that’s obviously a big deal. If our garbage guys can’t get in and take that garbage out that really creates some issues. That’s really why the Pad lot has had a little more attention this year than last year,” Lathrop said.
Security has noticed that when one student or faculty park a certain way, then the rest assume that it is okay to park in that area.
One of the areas that has been a focus for security is cars parked in non-marked spaces.
The spots in B lot in front of Francis Hall have been another problematic area. They are reserved for guest and admission.
At the beginning of the school year, President Phil Conover sent out a note to staff and faculty that addressed parking areas he wanted to adjust.
One of the main areas Conover wanted to address was the overhang area by Friars Hall. It becomes a problem when football practice gets out. The football locker room is nearby and many players park there to take their gear to the locker room.
Security works closely with Head Football Coach Gary Bass who has let the players know they are not to park in the overhang and they have recently started blocking off the road to the locker room so that players must park in another lot and walk over.
Lathrop understands that it is not convenient for the players and suggests they park on 20th street and walk across A Field to the locker room.
Another problematic area is the turn-around at the SLC. Student parking is not allowed as the bus drivers of the shuttle buses have a difficult time turning around if other cars are in the area.
If students are coming back late from work or there is bad weather outside, security is happy to escort them to their building. This way they can park in the appropriate lot and still get a ride to the door of their building.
Parking tickets are most often $15 and they can be paid off at the Financial Aid office located on the first floor of Francis Hall.
There are some $25 and $100 citations along with a $250 ticket for illegally parking in a handicap spot.
“More than 95% of our tickets are $15 a piece,” Lathrop said.
The money collected from parking tickets goes into the general fund. Security typically only tickets the problematic areas or upon complaint. They are not looking to give out tickets.