By Cambrie Eckert
If you’ve ever tried to find a parking spot on the SUNY Brockport campus and failed, you’re not alone.
Scores of SUNY Brockport students have been ticketed countless times for parking in unauthorized lots.
SUNY Brockport sophomores Ryan Reynolds and Emmi Rubera have both paid around $163 for a red parking pass, although Reynolds recently upgraded to a purple one.
“I paid $163 for the pass but have definitely paid more in tickets and it’s pathetic. They already take so much from us in tuition. I really don’t think they need more than that,” Rubera said.
The red parking permit is available for purchase to everyone on campus. This parking pass only allows students to park in either lot V-1 or X. Both lots are located furthest from classes and dorms and are open 24-hours.
The purple parking pass allows students to park in lot Y, the townhome parking lot, right next to where Reynolds lives in Eagle Hall. Although this is considered an “upgrade,” he is unable to park anywhere else on campus, except for public parking lots that are open during specific times.
“When you get your permit, they email you parking times,” Reynolds said. “What I did was move my car before the times [at public parking lots]. At Dobson, it’s open until 9 a.m., but they were giving out tickets at 7 or 8 a.m. I got a ticket around that time and tried to dispute it and lost. They denied me saying it wasn’t a ‘good enough reason.’”
Reynolds has repeatedly complained about those who give out these parking tickets to be “inconsistent and inconsiderate.”
“It’s so stupid. It’s dumb as f—k. I already pay my own loans to go here and now I have to pay a few hundred [dollars] in parking tickets instead of the $150 [for my parking permit]. I feel like this should be brought up at orientation,” Reynolds said.
On top of students being ticketed for contradictory parking times, Rubera complains about another issue in the parking system that “helps pad the college’s pockets.”
“I’ve gotten ridiculous tickets when I would park at the [parking] meters and the coins would not work, and then I would use the parking thing online and it still wouldn’t work,” Rubera said.
Students in this situation don’t know what to do when confronted with a parking system that is a bit out of date. A student would be unable to prove their innocence in this situation, and unless the system gets an update, there’s nothing more to do in this circumstance.
Rubera has a “Wall of Shame,” decorated with her various parking tickets over her past year on campus.
“I have created a ‘wall of shame’ with a few of my parking tickets because it’s just so sad how the campus charges us so much to get the passes, yet we are barely allowed to park anywhere without getting a ticket,” Rubera said.
Rubera has gotten 12 parking tickets over the past year and Reynolds with 10.
“I’ve paid more in tickets than I’ve paid for my parking permit this year,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds alone currently owes about $40 and has paid what he claims to be between $400 to $500 over the past year for parking tickets to the college.
“It sucks because I have to wait till payday to pay for these tickets, and when I have to pay for these, I don’t have the money to pay for my bills,” Reynolds said.
It’s an unfortunate reality for those barely able to scrape by, now having to worry about unfair expenses the college will try to hold them accountable for.
A possible solution to this problem would be a universal parking pass, where sophomores, juniors and seniors would have the option to buy a limited amount of these passes to park wherever they want on campus.
“I would’ve 100% paid 100 or 200 more [dollars] for a universal parking pass last year during the winter. Walking through all that snow and cold air blowing on me wasn’t exactly my definition of a good time,” Reynolds said.
“The current parking situation stresses me the hell out. I’m poor because of them! I hate how we pay a stupid amount for a pass and then we have one spot to park. I think a universal parking pass would be phenomenal or free parking since we pay a lot for tuition,” Rubera said.
A universal parking pass could be a solution to this problem, but the question is whether SUNY Brockport would be willing to compromise on something like this or keep “padding their pockets” at the expense of their students.