By Jane Suttmeier
It took me a while to figure out why I keep having problems with Ohio Wesleyan’s policies, but it all seems to be clear now. I have a car. Normally, for a teenage girl, that statement would be a dream come true—shiny red car sitting in the lot with a big red bow.
Instead, that shiny red car has glue stuck to its windows and remnants of a neon orange sign proclaiming ignorance. In the windshield wipers are specks of some 20 tickets that have been broken down by weathering over time that occasionally fly up and out as I’m driving to give a quick reminder of my poor life choices—or should I say parking choices. That front tire is a little bit soggier than others; drooping from its many punishments given by hard, cold metal bars.
They call them boots. I don’t approve of the word given to that awful orange metal restraint. I like boots. I wear boots constantly. My car, on the other hand, should not be. My poor car, my poor wallet, taken advantage of by the “man.”
You know those safe, “you probably won’t get attacked by a townie if you park here,” spaces right outside of my dorm late at night coming back from the library? Those six or seven spaces that are available in the dimly lit parking arenas of Hayes and then cross through to the other side, where there are eight or nine more in Smith? “Why are these spaces empty?” I wonder.
Is it that all the other journalists like me are out late working on a story? Or is it because no one wanted to pay for a parking pass that they were going to have to upgrade later on for a rough estimate of over $500 by senior year? Maybe it’s because students who actually live in those dorms can’t even park there because those spaces are allotted to people of superiority to them, those superior B-parkers that never show up. Or maybe Public Safety is too worried about the safety of their parking than of their own students.
I wonder, is there an officer whose job is solely stalking the spots, waiting and watching for that one student who parks in the Hayes circle to get a notebook and waits for the door to close to ticket her car. When do they have time for this?
I wonder if tickets are like their tips. Or the administration’s tips, as if their pay isn’t more than satisfactory with what they charge us to go here.
Why else would they spend so much time charging students for all their worth for an ability to drive onto a slab of concrete with paint by number lines?
But some can get away with it. Maybe they got a B pass given to them by a student who went abroad.
Four unpaid tickets, it’s a boot.
Four boots, it’s a tow.
I’m guessing Public Safety doesn’t have a secret tow truck, so they have to call one in. I saw the tow man one time, stalling creepily on the side of the lot, much like a hungry vulture preying the on owner’s sanity and pocket cash. It’s the circle of life, really—the circle of Hayes, or that ominous Stuyvesant lot that seemed heaven-sent. In reality, they crammed all the Cs into an abandoned lot behind a creepy house that may or may not be a SLU. But who knows the real truth?
Emily Lias, a freshman this year, is just one of the many victims. “There is not a fair amount of C parking spots close to the dorms,” she said.
Lias, who has had around nine violations, thinks it’s time to take a stand. “I don’t agree with them booting the cars and towing them after three days when they don’t alert you that there is a boot in the first place.”
It looks like it’s not just my pretty red car with a pretty hefty bill from OWU Public Safety.