Parking Management: Mission
Campus and municipal parking offices have a very unpopular but very important mission: to facilitate access to campus by employees, students and visitors. A main focus is to maintain safe access for emergency vehicles and campus deliveries.
Parking vs. Beauty: A Delicate and Important Balance
Parking at Mount Holyoke College can be tight; there is a delicate balance between the wondrous beauty of the campus and convenient parking for employees, students and visitors. We are fortunate that the campus is small and is designed so that even its most remote buildings are accessible on foot. Recently the Parsons study, commissioned to evaluate the campus facilities, noted parking particularly. While it would be ideal to have more parking lots (closer to buildings, too!) on campus, many of us undoubtedly chose to come here because the campus is so gorgeous. Perhaps we should all take the time it takes to walk from our cars to our offices, classes, meetings or residences to enjoy the beauty so carefully maintained here.
A Bit About Parking Enforcement
Campus enforcement is done by Public Safety and Service Officers, Public Service Officers and other staff every day of the year. Of course, parking enforcement is a low priority for officers, done only when they are not responding to emergencies, answering calls for service, completing reports or doing community presentations. However, it is important from a management point of view - as well as to remain fair - to do some enforcement on every shift every day when possible. Obviously, officers can not ticket every lot every day, so not Every vehicle parked illegally gets ticketed every day. It may surprise you that our officers would much prefer spending no time on parking enforcement!
A Word From Our Staff: The Human Side of the Parking Office
Our busy office staff work very hard to provide caring, efficient service to our 1,900 students, nearly 1,000 staff and great numbers of visitors to our campus. We are kept very busy greeting visitors and processing paperwork - registrations, parking tickets, appeals, billing, and the like.
It may surprise those who have dealt with 'parking authorities' elsewhere, or even perhaps here at Mount Holyoke, that our staff are genuinely sympathetic toward the needs of our customers. It is difficult for us many times to balance our feelings and empathy with the need to be professional and equitable. We would love to void everyone's tickets - especially if that meant they never had to visit us with another ticket! Unfortunately, the reality is we just can't do that. This is why we created the Parking Appeals Board consisting of students and employees to help review appeals and provide the human element to review situations and determine what the most fair solution is based on written appeals.
An Appeal From Us: Come See Us!
Our biggest concern is people who get into trouble with parking. Visitors don't realize when they get tickets that they risk getting booted or towed from campus - we really don't like to do this, but are tasked with assuring spaces are available to registered students, employees and visitors. Also, some community members (students and employees) end up collecting tickets and risking losing parking privileges on campus. We really hate for people to get to this point. If you get a ticket on campus and don't know why or are confused, Please come to see us. We can help make suggestions to help avoid getting into trouble. Many of our visitors are very upset - getting tickets is certainly no fun - but take a minute to put things in perspective before walking in if you are angry. We are very understanding, but communication (both ways) is much more productive when we are able to speak calmly with each other.