Although the University of South Dakota has a rather small campus, it is useful to have a car to get around to the places one would not normally want to walk, like Wal-Mart or the Al Neuharth Media Center.
Unfortunately, only one of these buildings has adequate parking for the number of people who must go there.
While a student still has a parking pass, this isn’t such a big deal. There are a lot of places on campus for ‘A’ parking, and sometimes they actually have spots.
However, as a student’s career requires him or her to go to more and more places on campus, they will quickly find that ‘A’ parking isn’t quite enough anymore.
Unfortunately, this is not one field where it gets better. Instead, when a student inevitably makes the decision to live off-campus, they often choose to go without a parking pass altogether.
Although this choice does save money in the long run, what it does not save is frustration: Parking tickets, while only $15, are enough to ruin anyone’s day.
It’s not the price that’s so annoying — it’s the thought that counts.
So what’s a first-year to do?
First thing’s first: Make sure you get your parking pass as quickly as possible and be sure to hang it up properly.
The University Police will ticket you just for having an “improperly displayed” pass, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Next, drive around the town a little bit. Figure out all the places where you can comfortably park on the street, or perhaps some hidden parking lots that doesn’t get a lot of attention.
If, for some reason, you plan on driving to classes, be sure to leave as early as possible, just in case you have to park a mile away.
Keep a large amount of quarters in your car, as well. There are several places — like the Muenster University Center or the National Music Museum – that have parking meters for half an hour per quarter.
Set an alarm so you don’t get back to your car too late, and don’t do anything too time-consuming: These meters max out at two hours.
Finally, there are times during the day that the UPD simply doesn’t canvas parking lots looking to fill their ticket quota. For the most part, any time after 5 p.m. is safe for ‘A’ parking and visitor lots.
Generally speaking, at USD, wherever you need parking, you can’t find it, and wherever you can find parking, you won’t need it.
However, if a student can stay smart, he or she will be able to avoid the indignities of a parking ticket and simply get where they need to go.