Surprise! Parking tickets are going up in price for the first time in over ten years. Instead of paying $20 for a parking violation, students without a parking pass will pay $35 and students parking in the wrong area will pay $25. In light of this news, sophomore Wong Park, in a previously unheard of move, asked to pay off his parking ticket on an installment plan.
Park found it difficult to convince Grand Valley to let him chip away at this parking ticket in this unprecedented instance. In fact, a court case went all the way to GVSU student court where it was decided on a split 5-4 vote that said payment plans were constitutional.
“I ended up paying about $1.50 every week until I no longer owed the school money for accidentally parking in a residential lot instead of a student lot,” Park said. “Finally, after 14 weeks and only almost a full semester, I’m debt-free from a parking standpoint.”
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Grand Valley’s Parking Services was not pleased with the court’s decision. In their eyes: “it was their money and they needed it now,” Park said. “They even tried to threaten me by putting Louie the Laker’s severed head in my bed one night. But for the students of this campus, I knew I couldn’t back down.”
Certainly, Park v. GVPS will go down in history as a victory for the little man. Largely, Park won for students across both campuses because he was able to explain where exactly his money was going and why he couldn’t allot $20 to his ticket.
“As I told the court judges, I’m on a very tight budget. Between tuition, housing, food, and my $180 parking pass a semester, I only have about two measly dollars leftover every week,” Park said. “At first the courts wanted me to pay those full $2 every week, but my pro bono lawyer was able to talk them down fifty cents altogether.”
Now that his payment plan is over, Park feels like a free man. Unfortunately, he got another parking ticket last week for parking in the faculty lot by Lake Ontario Hall and will be back to grind of perpetually paying off $20.
“I was hoping I could have used my extra $2 a week to go towards something like a textbook, but I guess not,” Park said. “What was I thinking? Who can buy a textbook for that cheap anyway?” At least now Park can graduate instead of having his diploma held hostage for a small sum.