A University of Houston student’s tweet expressing frustration about the hefty price to remove a clamp the school placed on her car’s windshield has gone viral.
The tweet, posted Wednesday by a student identifying herself as babayaga, Friday had received more than 2,800 retweets, 12,000 likes and 1,300 comments, both supportive and critical.
“$920 to get this removed,” the student tweeted with a sad face emoji. “All bc the university doesn’t have enough permits available nor parking options that are affordable for students that already pay to attend the University. Everyone send a dollar my way.”Look, I get it: parking has been an issue at the University of Houston ever since I was a student there almost three decades ago. The university has tried to increase parking capacity by building garages. They've also increased student housing options in order to encourage more kids to live on campus and avoid the parking problem altogether. But at a school that by its nature has a large commuter student population, finding a place to put your car while you go to class remains an issue.
That being said, my sympathy for this student evaporated when I read further:
UH spokesman Chris Stipes and Neil Hart, head of the university’s parking and transportation services, emphasized that barnacles — the bright yellow, plastic immobilization devices that suction to vehicle windshields with up to 1,000 pounds of force and block the view of the driver — are only used on the cars of habitual offenders of parking protocols."Habitual offenders" being the key phrase there.
UH’s barnacle devices, implemented in early December 2019 as a way to deter parking violators and simplify fining processes, are only used for cars consistently parked on campus without a permit and with five or more existing citations, according to the spokesmen. To date, 37 cars have been barnacled, with the violators receiving an average of nine citations for parking without a permit.
“When somebody is parking illegally and doesn’t have a permit, they’re taking a space from someone else who has paid,” Stipes said. “This is a deterrent against that. We don’t have free parking on campus.”
In the past, the university would tow the vehicle, a process that costs more time and money.So in other words, this person did not possess a valid parking permit, parked on campus illegally multiple times, finally had this "barnacle" contraption attached to her windshield, and is now upset with the school and is asking strangers for money to remove the device. Entitled much?
When you park your car on campus without a permit, you are essentially committing theft because you are taking a space away from somebody who has purchased a valid permit. And while parking permits might not be cheap, there are other options for getting to class if you have trouble affording one. You can park remotely, you can carpool with a student, and you can even (gasp!) use public transportation, which is available to UH students at a discount.
You're in college now. You can solve this problem without being a deadbeat, and without resorting to whining and begging for social media to help you fix the problem you caused.