Monday, March 28, 2011

Open Letters: UT Edition.

I realize that almost every university in the country has issues with parking, but the University of Tennessee's parking situation is quite possibly the largest corporate screw over in existence.

The staff can pretty much park wherever they want, including most of the garages we're required to park in. That only worsens the ratio of roughly 2.8 students per parking spot UT currently boasts. That being said, at times, we students have to get pretty desperate when it comes to parking.

I was in one of those situations recently, and if you haven't already guessed, I received my first parking ticket. 34 minutes in a 30-minute parking zone. I was pretty pissed about it. It's not even the money that set me off; it wasn't even that much. What infuriates me is that I know how these people operate. I know they purposely leave their parking situation in shambles because it's making them truckloads of money. And, even more angering, I know they have no intention of ever fixing it. As long as they can continue building onto Neyland Stadium, they couldn't care less.

I decided all this anger ought to be used for something constructive, so I wrote them a letter. This is a completely over exaggerated version of what I wrote. Well, some of it is exaggerated...

Dear UT Parking and Transit Services,

Despite the fact that you very clearly have no intention of improving the atrocious parking conditions we, your paying students, face on a daily basis, I'm going to point out the flaws and pretend that you care.

First off, the Board of Appeals is a complete and total joke. Not only did it take them two days to respond to my half-page parking ticket appeal, but when they responded with a "copy" of the appeal, they didn't even reproduce the full document. This indicates to me that they didn't even consider the appeal, at least in its entirety. I'm sure there's some type of legal loophole I could exploit here, but I'll refrain for now and just keep all this on file for future reference.

Granted, I'm not contesting the citation, I have already paid the fee for my four-minute violation. So, rest assured, my horrendous criminal act has been set straight. Your staff is doing an excellent job of keeping their priorities in order. We're down to only three or four murders on campus a month, and if I remember right, there were less than twelve muggings in February! That's a record, right? But those parking violators, none of them get off free, do they? Nope. That's right, you keep spending all that money on ticket-happy, unarmed rent-a-cops. Why not just cut spending on legitimate campus security entirely? I mean, we don't NEED to light our streets at night. If they're worried, students can carry flashlights! Who cares, right? Keep up the great work, guys.

I hope whoever reads this is intelligent enough to comprehend (and possibly choke on) the sarcasm in that last paragraph. Honestly, do you take us for idiots? We know we're getting royally screwed. It's obvious you're not good with money, but the least you could do is give us a two-space per student ratio. What exactly do you do with our tuition money anyway? You're obviously not putting it towards the educational staff, and after Fulmer's recent debacle, I wonder if you're even putting it towards a quality athletics staff.

Ultimately, I realize nothing will change. No response is required because I know it will be some fill-in-the-blank, computer-generated document that you've probably used hundreds of times. I just to make known that the current Parking and Transit services are not even remotely close to sufficient. And your refusal to change anything about it is as crooked as the convicts and inmates who play football for you.

Have a nice day.