After her car obtained a scrape that ran along the whole driver’s side of her car, a junior female commuter student at PLNU sent out an email to other commuter students urging them to send in their concerns to President Dr. Bob Brower.
Two days after the email was sent out, Dr. Caye Barton Smith, Vice President of Student Development and Title IX Coordinator, sent out another email to students telling them to direct their emails toward her.
Junior psychology major Sierra Bates also said that she was annoyed with how the email sent out by Dr. Smith addressed how an occasional ‘ding’ to a car was a consequence that came with stacked parking.
“No, that’s not something that is going to be bound to happen,” Bates said. “No, that’s called your employees being reckless and careless and hitting cars. They are being lazy and not moving cars.”
She sent an email to Dr. Smith saying that she was affected by the stacked parking as well.
Bates said that she asked an ACE worker to move a car up so she could get out of her spot. He ended up not moving the car but tried to help direct her out of a spot. Bates ended up hitting the car and causing damage.
“This kid was guiding me when they could’ve taken two seconds to move a car up,” she said. “And then I wouldn’t have hit it.”
Dr. Smith said that she invited Devin Otsuka, the shift manager of stacked parking, into her office to discuss the concerns brought up by students.
“He [Otsuka] was very responsive,” Dr. Smith said. “They [ACE Parking] are interested to know when there are concerns and they do their best to respond to them.”
After receiving multiple emails expressing both concerns and praise about the stacked parking, Dr. Smith sent a follow-up email to commuter students saying they will continue to offer stacked parking during both the fall and spring semesters.
“These concerns related primarily to damage to personal vehicle, desire for security cameras in the parking structure, impacted Stacked Parking, slow response time of ACE Parking attendants, overly dense parking, and concern that not all attendants can drive a manual transmission.” Dr. Smith said in her follow-up email. “These concerns have been personally communicated to ACE Parking administration.”
Dr. Smith also said in her email that stacked parking and also the expansion of parking by Wiley has added up to 40 more spots for commuter cars, along with 24 spaces by opening some Flex garages.
Getting rid of stacked parking would result in the loss of close to 40 spots and that would cause problems for the commuter students who already struggle with trying to find a spot.
“I don’t think stacked parking needs to be taken away,” Bates said. “I don’t think stacked parking itself is the issue. I just think the way they execute it and the people that are trusted with executing it, that’s something that needs to change.”
Also included in the email is how ACE Parking will assume responsibility for damage done by an ACE employee if the student affected contacts ACE after the incident.
“I would advise a student that feels that ACE has been involved in damaging their vehicle to report absolutely as quickly as possible with any verifying documentation that they could,” Dr. Smith said.
Otsuka also urges students to contact him directly with any parking concerns or recommendations to improve upon the stacked parking situation by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org