With a little more than a month until the end of the school year, Dillard administration makes a drastic decision to impose parking decals. The policy went into effect Monday, Mar. 26 despite the efforts of the Student Government Association (SGA) to get them revoked. As a result, a compelling number of students, faculty, and staff were forced to park off campus and walk on because their cars did not contain a decal.
The SGA did its best according to Jovanne Hughes, senior accounting major and SGA Treasurer. “The Trouble-Shooting Committee tried to discourage students from buying decals, however, Dr. Hughes had her mind made up,” Hughes said. Hughes also said that it was a monetary decision that she does not uphold. “The decals are a source of revenue for the school. Dillard needs money from every angle possible. I feel as though the decals are not in the best interest of the students; the university was only thinking of itself, not the students who make it up,” she said.
Nicole McGee, junior psychology major from New Orleans, La., agrees. “It’s ridiculous and stupid, but I wasn’t going to risk anything happening, especially with parking off campus at night. My decision to purchase [a decal] was basically me complying with my mom’s wishes regarding my safety,” McGee said.
Hughes, one of the very people against the decals, was forced to purchase one as well. “It [not being able to drive on campus] was just a huge inconvenience because my class was way in Dent and normally, I go to my car and get my books for each class, but instead I had to walk back and forth across campus,” Hughes said about her reasons for buying a decal.
However, some students have no intention of purchasing a decal this semester. Marcelus Ross, junior English major from Chicago, Ill., said he will catch a ride with people or walk if it comes to that. On the other hand, Ross said he may have considered buying a decal had they made these changes earlier. I feel it’s ludicrous that they are enforcing parking regulations so late in the year; they should have done this, at the latest, at the beginning of the second semester,” he said.
Despite resistance and criticism, the University does not plan to let up on its new policy, asserting that its parking fee is “one of the lowest in the nation” and “necessary to continue the building of the New Dillard,” according to a memorandum issued Mar. 25. The cost of parking decals is $25 for students and $50 for faculty and staff. They can be purchased in the Office of the Cashier, 103 Camphor Hall from 8:15am until 4pm with cash, credit cards, or students can have them charged to their accounts.