By Tyler Gilliam

While circling the Alumni Coliseum lot my first day on campus this semester I noticed half a row of empty parking spaces labeled carpool. I was perplexed. Had Eastern done something sensible to combat the overwhelming parking problem? I had to investigate. After much reading on a sign in front of the space, I found the only requirement was to display two valid Zone A parking permits. That was all, two parking tags.I thought to myself, how can I cheat the system and get another tag? Could I just buy one? It would be worth an extra 30 bucks to actually have a parking space. After all, it’s almost $300 at UK. But then it dawned on me. I could actually carpool.

It makes so much sense. I drive almost an hour every morning and I know other people doing the same thing. Why not go together and save a parking space, some gas, and ultimately the Earth? If we don’t stop global warming, all the Reese’s will melt. Luckily I found a friend and now we carpool twice a week. We showed up Tuesday and happened upon a good spot out of the carpool area. So we didn’t get to try the new space, but we did get to park and that always makes for a good day. Thursday, however, didn’t turn out so well.

We pulled into the AC lot, and darted for the last carpool space. Score, we got in. My permit was already on the mirror. She put hers in the front of the windshield and we went on our merry way. You can imagine my horror when hours later I came back to my pretty purple car with a big yellow ticket.

They wanted $25 because I was parked in a reserved space. A space, mind you, reserved for carpools. A space reserved for cars with two parking tags, which I had proudly displayed in my car windshield.

From what I gather, parking tickets are fact of life for many students at Eastern.

Most students park where they can and pay the tickets. I don’t. This is my fourth year at Eastern and until last week my driving record was spotless. So what would you do? I had a fight on my hands.

Of course, since I’m a college student taking 19 hours worth of credits and working a full time job, I had nothing better to do at 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday than to go hang out at Parking Services in Mattox Hall. I hurriedly drove over there, only to find myself at the back of a line.

Once I reached the desk I handed the nice lady my ticket, followed by my duo of parking tags. I explained the situation, and she told me that since I had no prior offenses, like I’m some kind of criminal, they might be able to get it reduced to a warning. That set me off. I was about to get a warning for legally parking my car.

Then the supervisor walked in. She asked what happened, and then said the parking officers are supposed to actually look at the car before writing a ticket. So she took care of it like it never happened. So a big thanks to the nice ladies at parking services.

But remember kids: just because you’re parking where you’re supposed to doesn’t mean you won’t get a ticket. But this is still America, last time I checked anyway, and we have a right to appeal.

So don’t take any abuse from the parking lot cops and don’t be afraid to take it up with the parking services people; that’s why they’re there. Just do me a favor and be polite. I might need them again someday.