Looking at CSI’s Parking Issue
By Briana DelBuono
The Office of Auxiliary Services experiences its fair amount of complaints from students who can’t seem to find a decent parking spot on campus when they have to go class.
After paying $111 for the privilege to park on campus for the academic year, a 23 percent increase from 2010, it’s more of an obstacle when there is no available parking.
“It’s not a simple solution because building additional parking is extremely expensive and we are not supported by CUNY funds,” said Mary-Jeanne Hennessy, director of the Office of Parking at Auxiliary Services at CSI.
“All the parking, road repairs, signage, stop signs, is paid for by Auxiliary Services Corporation, which is a non profit.”
The corporation operates in accordance with guidelines established by the College and the City University of New York.
According to the Corporation, the CSI-ASC is self-supporting through the sale of its services. Any income after operating expenses and funding requirements is used to benefit the College by supporting numerous campus programs.
“The money that comes into this office must go to payroll and then we pay for road repairs, the remainder of the money goes to Auxiliary Services and is put into scholarships. Any money we bring in gets turned over to the college,” Hennessy said.
The campus has seven parking lots, and a little over 3,000 parking spaces to choose from, forcing students to resort to find parking on unpaved gravel or restricted spots on campus.
“I think that the parking on campus is horrible,” said Maria Sabella, a senior.
“I think that the school should try to figure out how to make more spots for the students since there’s nowhere for anyone to park.”
Maria isn’t alone. The majority of students that attend CSI are commuters. Senior Jack Manno sometimes creates his own spot when parking gets out of control.
“I have a parking pass but sometimes that just isn’t enough,” he said. “Finding a spot becomes so difficult in the beginning of the semester that I have to make my own spot [and] risk getting a ticket.”
In spite of complaints, he Auxiliary Services claims that it doesn’t turn a blind eye to the issues presented to them.
“There’s a parking committee that is composed of some faculty, staff, student body, and we meet at least once a semester to discuss any issues that have been brought to our attention,” Hennessy said.
Issuing tickets any time between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., the odds of getting one are pretty high if students don’t get a decal.
“The majority of tickets issued are for no decals,” Hennessy said.
Faculty members have only three lots to choose from, making their chances of finding a space no better than the students.
A summons could be issued to students who try to get around getting a pass by getting a visitor’s pass.
Auxiliary Services tracks license plates too.
“The use of the Visitor’s Pass for the day is not a substitute for a required decal–and may result in the issuance of a summons,” the Parking Guidelines brochure warns.
“Our function in the office is to know who’s on campus so when you’re trying to keep track of cars, the logical way to do it is through a decal which you all purchase, or through a license plate,” Hennessy said.
“We regularly ticket in all lots including lot six so chances are if someone continually uses a visitor’s pass, they’re going to end up with a ticket at some point.”
Auxiliary Services has also looked into the idea of parking structures, which are very expensive.
“Students would be paying double the price of what they are paying now,” Hennessy said.
Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to expand the lots any further.
“We have already expanded parking in the past five years,” Hennessy said.
“We would love to put in additional parking, but we don’t really have the room.”
Additional reporting by Emily Zoda.