An Open Letter To Parking Services At Mississippi State

To whom it may concern,

Who knew it would take me this long to finally write an "open letter?" I've waited this long because, well, they're a little cliche, and I wanted to save it for when I wanted to write about something important, and, suffice to say, this is important.

Let me start of by saying that Mississippi State is my second home, only better, because here I have my own apartment, my sweet friends, and the Biscuit Shop. My classes are amazing, I get to cook all my own food (no offense, Fresh Foods) and sometimes it goes a whole day without raining here. What else do I need?

I'll tell you what.

Look, I know you guys are just doing your jobs when you give out those tickets. I get it. Everyone has to make a living, and you're just doing what you have to do. Here's the thing, though — when you have a dedicated team of individuals whose sole job is to dole out parking tickets to unfortunate, miss-parked students, you might want to take a look at the "why" instead of the "what." For instance, why do I see kids circling parking lots they have a decal for? Why are some lots so overbooked that some kids have to ride a shuttle despite having paid for a decal? Why do some of us pay $135 for a parking pass (outrageous, by the way) only to find the only available spaces are in gravel parking? I mean, I know the University isn't starving for money. You can't be — this is an SEC school, funded by the state, with so many donors that seemingly every classroom building, residence hall, fountain, bench and brick, was paid for by somebody.

I've seen kids make the time and effort to appeal $30 parking tickets (that's how you know, it's a principle thing, not always a money thing) just to get shut down. I've seen my own roommate get a ticket for parking in the B&N lot for 15 minutes to pick up $660 worth of textbooks (also outrageous). Are you trying to teach us a lesson? Who are those spots for, if not for us, the kids paying upwards of $20,000 every year to come to school here? My other roommate was late to class this past week, the very first week of school, because she wasn't able to find a parking space. I mean, isn't the whole point of college to, well, get an education? What does it say about our parking situation if students are late to class because they can't find a parking space in their own zone? Just my opinion — but I'm not sure we really needed suite-style upperclassmen residence halls when there are like, a hundred apartment complexes nearby — especially when that space could've been used to remedy our already-hectic parking situation.

I heard that this year's batch of freshmen is the largest in history. What's going to happen next year, when many of these students live off campus, and need parking spaces? It's not like we really have any more to spare as it is — just this morning I spent 15 minutes driving around the northwest commuter lots, praying that someone, anyone, might be heading home. My roommates and I joked last night that this would all be worth it in the end if it turned out that every time we got dinged $30, that money got added into the "Get Better Parking" fund. If only, right?

I don't know how much power you guys have. I really don't. So I don't know if it's in your capacity to do anything about it. Know, though, that I'm definitely not the first to complain, and I certainly won't be the last.

And, maybe, until something can be done — could you cut us some slack? Just a little? Even police officers give out warnings, and, I mean, we are kind of already throwing our money at you.

Kind regards,

Already In Debt

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