By Megan Senseney
On Jan. 14, Director of Public Safety Dan Pesold made a blog post warning students of the penalties they could face for parking in lots controlled by Eden Theological Seminary. Students who continued to illegally park on Eden’s campus after Jan. 17 would be subject to ticketing, he said, and would pay any fines owed to Eden.
Since then, 26 Webster students have received tickets for parking in spaces that are specifically for Eden students. Tickets are $40, and become $50 after going unpaid for 10 days.
Though Eden has allowed Webster students to park on their campus, it wasn’t until this year that certain lots were designated for Eden students only.
Eden is highly residential, with at least 90 students living on campus. Eden’s West Hall consists of 25 multi-bedroom apartments and houses all of the families on campus. It is also where the problem with parking has been the worst, said Eden’s Executive Vice President Rick Walters.
“Where we tend to have a lot of difficulty is in the West Hall lot,” Walters said. “The entire building is full occupancy, and many of the families there have more than one vehicle.”
Two parking lots on the Eden campus are available for Webster students to park in: a designated section in the lot by Eden’s West Hall, and a small lot near Schultz Hall.
Walters said that parking spots were reserved for Eden students so that residents are able to be as close to their buildings as possible. Because most of the lot is dedicated to residential parking, there are only a small amount of parking spaces available for Webster students to use.
Areas that are available to Webster students are marked with white paint and signs.
“It may be that students aren’t reading the signs, or are just desperate for a parking spot that day,” Walters said. “I understand that, but when our residents can’t park next to their housing units, it becomes a problem.”
Walters said complaints from Eden students were what ultimately led to the school issuing parking tickets. Dennis Ureche, a master of divinity student at Eden, said he started sending emails to administrators when the problem began to happen every day.
“I would approach people and tell them they couldn’t park here,” Ureche said. “They think it’s okay because they have a parking permit. But they have a permit for Webster parking, not Eden.”
Public safety officers from Webster will meet with Eden administrators this week to discuss the parking problem, as well as other issues that mutually affect both schools.
“We work closely together to deal with any issues since we’re neighbors,” Walters said. “We are trying to create a good solution for everybody.”