GC parking services got new license plate software, but it still leaves students with more tickets

Lily Pruitt, Asst. News Editor

In past years, GC parking has been horrendous for students. Fighting over parking spaces and being late to class are direct results of not being able to find parking spots. 

GC has now implemented new rules for students who park in GC commuter-designated parking lots. Students now are not allowed to pull through parking spots or back in. This is due to GC now changing to a license plate recognition software in all parking lots that allows students to use their license plate as their parking pass. GC Parking Services needs to be able to see the license plates in order to be read by the new system. This new system is exactly what law enforcement uses to patrol on highways. It is a very sophisticated system that does have its flaws, but overall, is more efficient. 

“The cameras on the top of the vehicle can read tags up to 90 miles an hour,” said Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Brian English. 

Due to this, GC now offers the option to buy a front license plate for $30. There are 4 options that all have pictures of front campus, but students seem to be very opposed to this.

“Honestly, it’s not worth it to buy,” said sophomore criminal justice major Ryan Brewer.

Parking Services has seemingly switched over to this new system to ensure that when students are switching vehicles, they will no longer receive a “failure to display” citation. Further, the new system cracks down on students giving their tags to their friends and makes it easier for Parking Services to enforce their rules and patrol. 

“Since we have implemented this, we have found employees that have not bought a permit in, like, two years,” English said. 

Students are able to get free guest permits that they can use to avoid getting citations for a certain number of days. 

“I do think we are giving more tickets because we are able to enforce it more,” English said. “In the first three hours of today, we were able to write 29 tickets, which does not always mean it involves money.”

GC Parking Services also decided to issue tickets and citations electronically through students’ Bobcat emails instead of paper tickets. 

In the same email that was sent out to students to inform them of the new changes for parking, GC added that the City of Milledgeville has a new parking advisory. They claimed to have been informed that the city would be resuming enforcement of all time limits, specifically in the two-hour and 30-minute parking spots that are located all around campus. 

These new changes have added fire to the already chaotic parking situation in Milledgeville and around campus. Students are now getting more tickets than they normally do.

“I mean, I was 15 minutes late for the two-hour parking and got a ticket,” said an anonymous GC student. “It’s just ridiculous, and, honestly, it has made me think about leaving because GC has left little to nothing for students to park.”  

The only options students have to park are in two-hour parking spots, which are inconvenient for students who have back-to-back classes all day, parking in the already full commuter parking lot behind the public safety building, the other commuter parking lot on North Clarke Street or the commuter parking lot on Irwin Street, which offers a shuttle to campus. None of these are ideal options for students, so they have resorted to parking in the parking garage downtown, which is always full, or walking and taking shuttles for those who live off campus. 

“If you do not have an 8 or 9 a.m. and get there early, you will never get a parking spot,” said senior marketing major Shawn McElroy. 

Students think that GC should add more parking for commuter students or even replace one commuter parking lot with a parking garage. Doing this would mean more patrol for GC Parking Services, but it could help students comply with the rules and regulations a lot easier. 

“I think they should definitely add more lots,” Brewer said.