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Permits are not optional

In addition to making parking recommendations, Director of Parking and Transportation Services Isaac Astill clarified on-campus parking regulations. After 5 p.m., students and faculty still need permits, which has been a regulation for the past 30 years.
Thomas Graning

Associated Student Body President Kimbrely Dandridge recently received emails from faculty and students who received parking citations for not having a decal after 5 p.m.

“A lot of students don’t even know they can get tickets (after 5 p.m.),” Dandridge said.

Director of Parking and Transportation Services Isaac Astill said in order to park on campus, one must have a permit, period.

“After 5 o’clock, you still have to have a permit,” Astill said.

“The rule at 5 p.m. is that as long as you have a valid permit, you can park in any valid spot on campus.”

He said that has been a regulation for the past 30 years.

Astill has ticket writers on duty from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., then the University Police Department works the rest of the night.

“People operate under the assumption that we don’t have anything going on after 5 p.m., which is the furthest from the truth,” Astill said.

He said with classes going on until 8:30 p.m. and nearly 6,000 students living on campus, parking services have to be provided to ensure their safety.

Allowing people to park on campus without a permit after 5 p.m. would likely lead to students being unable to find a parking spot, according to Astill.

“No one really knew that this was a rule,” Dandridge said. “I thought this was recently new.”

Astill said there are no plans to change the parking regulation and that for those who would rather not purchase a commuter decal due to the cost, there is an easier solution.

“What we’ve told people that are upset about it is that you just have to have a permit on campus,” he said. “If you buy the $20 one that still allows you on campus, it’s the cheapest option.”

Another issue for parking is that the Oxford-University Transit (O.U.T.) buses stop running at 6:15 p.m., while classes are still going on and students are still on campus.

Astill said he has spoken with Clay Jones, assistant vice chancellor and director of human resources, and Larry Sparks, vice chancellor of administration and finance, about the bus situation.

“It is kind of an unplanned product of the shuttle system,” Astill said.
“We think it’s great that people are choosing not to buy a permit and to ride the shuttle during the day, and that’s what we would like to see a lot of people do.”

The O.U.T. bus system is managed through a cooperative effort between the university and city of Oxford, and Astill is making a recommendation to extend the hours of service.

He said with funding and the administration’s approval, the shuttle system will run from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“In the meantime, we’re just trying to let everyone know that they do have to have a permit on campus,” he said. “If they don’t, they can be cited.