P-Safe Parking Department Needs a Serious Attitude Check

Honestly, I don’t know how I could possibly put in to words how disappointed, frustrated, and embarrassed I have been by the Public Safety Parking Enforcement Department. I am ashamed to have then associated with my University and am somehow consistently flabbergasted by their conduct. Students’ complaints have been cheapened by authorities who say students are just angry and disgruntled over their own parking offenses. I can’t say this enough: there is a very real problem here. A student’s relationship with his/her campus police force is important. Public Safety comments:

“We believe that safety is a shared responsibility understanding the importance of cooperation, education and that the police-citizen partnerships make our campus, as well as our local community, a safe and joyful place.” – Jason Freidberg ‘Chief’

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The student body and Public Safety should be working together to create a safer environment. In order for this to happen, students must feel comfortable going to Public Safety for help. Because of my experiences with the Parking Department, I can honestly say if I was in trouble Public Safety would be THE LAST call I made.

It is safe to say a majority of the students that attend this University have never had any interaction with Public Safety outside of the parking department. I don’t believe I am alone in my feelings of bitterness and dismay towards the interaction I have had with those individuals in the department. Because I want this argument to be taken seriously, I’d like to avoid talking too much about my own personal experiences. Frankly, I’m afraid it would come out in much too colorful language, so instead I’ll highlight a few of my favorites. A parent of mine was visiting Bucknell. When it came time to leave, a car was parked illegally behind ours blocking it in. After sitting and waiting for the owner to return for 30 minutes, we called Public Safety. It was a real moment when the officer asked my mother “Do we really have to come down there? Isn’t this something you can handle on your own?” If that isn’t enough, they didn’t show up for another 45-50 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my parents so mad in my entire life. It is safe to say there have been times when we needed the parking department, and for a group so active on campus I am amazed at how unwilling they are to help. I don’t even want to touch on the topic of tickets because there is just too much to even start.

My real problem is how they treat students, visitors, family, and faculty. I have never been talked to in such a disrespectful way in my entire life. And what amazes me more, I have never seen my parents talked to in such a disrespectful way and they are alumni of this University! My parents have had a few run-ins with Public Safety and when they came to me saying “I can’t appeal, is this how it always works?” I shook my head feeling helpless. They were shocked by the uncooperative and inconsiderate attitude of the Officers towards them and said they couldn’t imagine how the students were being treated if that’s how the alumni were treated. It also seems totally ridiculous to me that some tickets are not allowed to be appealed. The statement “sorry there is nothing I can do because it can’t be appealed” just isn’t cutting it anymore! Public Safety says:

“We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas for making Bucknell University an even safer environment. To share your ideas with the Department of Public Safety, please visit our station location right next door to Student Health Services down the hill from Trax Hall.”

My suggestion: work with your students when you ticket them for ABSURD things.

My comment: when you do decide to work with them, don’t treat them like they are scum of the earth.

I welcome you all to write your suggestions…

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12 Responses to P-Safe Parking Department Needs a Serious Attitude Check

  1. awhigbee says:

    Public safety is probably the only university department that has been allowed to get away such an exhaustive inability to exhibit Bucknell values. Every other department that I have come into contact with that represents the university I have found to be helpful and efficient. It might be because we are management students that the failure of efficiency and lack of policy frustrates us, but it is probably just because a university department has been allowed to fail those they serve for so long. I believe it is an accurate statement to say that Public Safety has consciously blown off the majority of their social and ethical obligations to students and has no intention to remedy these issues. I have examples if you are interested!

  2. tpm011 says:

    I don’t get public safety. Maybe its because of who im dealing with but i remember in the mods we were having a large party with many people in the mod and psafe came and just told us to turn down the music and they were off on their way. This past weekend my gateway had about 10 guys over playing cards and all were over 21 when psafe comes in and yells that we can either dump out all our alcohol or they can arrest everyone. Willing to dump out half a case of natty rather than deal with a headache of whatever hell they would make up we dumped it out. I’m still not sure what they could arrest us for, they can’t even arrest us. i don’t know, i don’t get it.

    • eeewald says:

      I’ve also received mixed messages fom Public Safety. One time prior to a register at Lambda, my underaged friend walked downstairs with a beer asking if Public Safety had come to do their walk through yet. Before he could even get the question out he spotted the officer, laughed at himself, and ran back upstairs. The officer called him “a knucklehead” and then that was the end of it. But then a few friends and I were sitting outside around a table and, under suspicion that we were playing a drinking game on Bucknell property, Public Safety launched a coordinated attack from three sides, surrounding us. I can’t believe that they have so little to do that they could actually afford to waste 6 officers on something like that. Thankfully there wasn’t any alcohol present.

  3. Cander says:

    I think we’ve all had our run ins parking-wise and I really don’t want to get into my own, but the funny thing is how common of a problem this is nationwide. Everyone I know complains about how bad it is at their campus. I did a quick google search of ‘University Parking Problems’ and I had an official count of 15 schools through 3 pages of links? I have to think part of the problem is there is more incentive to over-regulate for additional revenues than for a more fair system.

    • Jordi says:

      You are on to something. At the risk of being tarred and feathered, I can’t help but wonder if the problem is scarcity. There is limited parking, and everyone expects the best parking place all the time. When the ticketing system dings them, their sense of entitlement is triggered.

      • Cander says:

        I don’t know about entitlement, but I do have a problem with some lots being designated as student parking, but then 10% of the lot is reserved for service vehicles 24/7 (Here’s looking at you Trax….).

      • knriggins says:

        All the more reason to have an effective, distinct, and fair policy in place. I agree scarcity is an issue, and I wouldn’t want to sacrifice any part of Bucknell’s grass for parking lots. It is not just the students who have experienced frustration and lack of clarity. I’ve had the ticketing system ding me at times where i just missed the sign. I learned that the hard way and have no problem paying a ticket for being an idiot. But some of the ticketing seems very very unjustified. And people have no voice in the process

  4. jwhite17 says:

    I can’t agree more with this post. Unfortunately, they have no incentive to change, as they are in the position of power. As it stands I look at public safety and their parking enforcement as nothing more than a way to enhance their revenue. Also, the fact that the appeal process is such a joke infuriates me.

  5. knriggins says:

    I tried to appeal once, and had an Officer call me an ‘idiot’ for not having carefully read the guidelines posted on the website. Following that remark they laughed in my face. I was so mortified and frustrated that I actually asked the officer “do you care at all that this is wrong?” and they replied “not even a little bit.”
    I’ll never forget that. I hope one day I’ll be in a position where they will at least listen even if their hands really are tied.

  6. Nate says:

    After I received a bogus parking ticket that I blogged about, I went to plead my case with the public safety officers in person. They told me that they don’t care what I had to tell them and that the ticket will stand. It’s definitely hard to give them the respect they feel that they deserve when they are so disrespectful to us and in your case family/ alumni.

  7. cornerback5 says:

    I agree Nate. Do any of you think they have some type of quota on how many tickets that they have to give? Because sometimes it just seems as if they are lurking somewhere and as soon as you leave your car they slap a ticket on your car. It’s ridiculous, but what can we really do?

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