Parking have you in the pits?


Students planning to park in one of Hamline’s surface lots can purchase these semester parking permits at Anderson front desk.

Kelly Holm, Senior Reporter

When Pipers returned to campus for the fall, they were met with a series of updates to parking regulations on Hamline’s grounds. 

A Sept. 3 email from Student Affairs outlines the new restrictions, beginning with the fact that parking permits are now only sold on a semesterly basis—a contrast to previous years, when a yearly option was available. 

Zach Hookom, Public Safety’s Anderson Center Lead, said this change was made mainly for refund purposes.

“Sometimes people don’t continue on with their education for spring, it happens,” Hookom said. “It’s a lot easier for us to [sell permits] on a short-term basis, because refunds are kind of a pain to put together.”

Semesterly parking permits are now priced at $110, a $10 increase from last year.

“I am opposed to anyone paying for parking… I think [parking permits] should be included in your tuition costs,” graduate student Robyn Earhart said of the increase. “It creates a big disadvantage for students. If most people aren’t able to live on campus here, then we have to make parking options more accessible.”

Junior Max Collins, a commuter student, complained of a lack of parking spaces.

“There is not enough parking in general,” Collins said. “I have to park directly on the street, and go like four blocks down to find a parking spot, which all the neighbors hate.”

Many students depend on the parking available at Hamline for their vehicles.
Cars resting during the busy school day.

It was concerns like these about limited space that led Public Safety to purchase access to the MN-LARS licensing system, a state program that gives subscribers access to vehicle registration information with the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, it can only be used to identify vehicles registered in Minnesota.

“The primary reason we use that is… in the past, we’ve had problems with abandoned vehicles,” Hookom said. “We might have somebody have a vehicle in a parking lot, let’s say they have a bunch of popped tires and it’s been sitting out for a week or two. Our thought process is… this vehicle is taking up space in the lot that people are paying for. What we’re able to do [through MN-LARS] is look up the vehicle information. Oftentimes it is people that aren’t associated with the university, and we’re able to get the appropriate authorities involved to maybe tow the vehicle.”

After a vehicle has received three parking tickets on campus, Public Safety will tow it. They promise to communicate with the vehicle’s owner before towing occurs.

“We understand if you have to take a different car to Hamline on a given day and forget to transfer your pass,” the Sept. 3 email from Public Safety reads. “Just call [Public Safety] to get a waiver. We understand that getting a parking ticket can be frustrating, but please don’t abuse our staff.”

Commuter students now require advance permission in order to park in Hamline lots overnight. In order to differentiate residents from commuters, residents now have their permits marked with an R at the top.

“If we ever have incidents or anything of that nature that involves vehicles, oftentimes it is happening on an overnight basis,” Hookom said. 

Students now have up to 10 days to appeal a parking ticket. Parking passes are available for purchase at the Anderson Center front desk and will be charged to students’ accounts.