Student wins parking spot, loses it to thieves


Samantha Nagy is living every OU student’s dream come true− she won her very own parking spot on campus. But there’s one small problem− everyone keeps ignoring the giant sign that reads in glaring golden letters ‘Climate Survey Winner Parking Only’.

“When I first got the spot, I couldn’t park in it the first day,” Nagy said.

Another vehicle was parked in the spot she had won.

Nagy did what anyone would do in that situation, and call Oakland University Police Department to have the car towed.

Unfortunately for Nagy, her hand-selected spot isn’t a tow-away zone, regardless of the two tow-away zone spots right next to it. She had to park in the dirt lots of the upper fields (P-11) and wait for the vehicle’s owner to move it.

“This parking spot was a good thing for me because I wouldn’t have to walk to the dirt lots,” Nagy said.

“The tow-away zone isn’t up to OUPD to determine,” said OUPD Captain, Mark Gordon. “We can’t just wave a magic wand, so to speak, and make her spot a tow-away zone. That’s not how the process works and that’s not how the law works.”

However, OUPD issued the owner of the unwelcome car a ticket to discourage any further swiping of Nagy’s spot.

“That’s a costly parking spot,” OUPD Lieutenant Terry Ross said. “That’s a $20 fine and that adds up pretty quick.”

Nagy has owned the coveted space in Vandenberg’s parking lot (P-5 for you parking gurus,) since Jan. 15. In the time-span of about a week, she had to call OUPD three times to issue three more tickets.

Each call resulted in a ticket. However, Nagy believes the lifestyle of constantly calling OUPD to inform them of violators is inconvenient for both her and the officers.

OUPD begs to differ.

“We have 22,000 people on this campus,” Gordon said. “The OUPD can’t babysit on every single spot. We can’t just sit there and watch every one of these spots and make sure the person who parks in this spot is the one who’s supposed to get that spot.”

According to Gordon, if a violator receives six unpaid parking tickets, then the OUPD can tow them.

Tired of constantly calling the police, and not wanting to wait around for every single violator to receive six tickets, Nagy devised a few alternate solutions to all of the driving drama.

She tried attaching a hand-written note to the sign to let people know she really owned the spot.

− No luck.

She posted statuses on Facebook, pleading for housing residents to let her park.

− Nothing.

Finally, Nagy came up with the idea of letting OUPD let her borrow a cone to place in her spot.

“We generally don’t do that,” Gordon said.

“If the sign didn’t stop somebody, a cone won’t stop somebody,” Ross said.

Regardless, Nagy eventually received permission from an officer to try using an old OUPD barrier to blockade her parking area.

“There was one buried underneath the snow,” Nagy said. “They’re pretty heavy. I got snow up to my knees. I dug one out and put it in front. I drove back by it later on and nobody had moved it.”

Ever since using the barrier, no one has stolen her well-deserved spot.

“I hate making myself a problem. I hate giving people tickets. I hate having to say and post stuff. I just want to park there.”