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Tight spaces damage cars in campus parking lots

After a tiring day, walking from class to one’s car, the straw that breaks the camel’s back: the car is dented and scratched, and there is no culprit in sight.

Notorious for the small, cramped spaces, University of Miami parking lots are also known for their propensity for damage.

“The parking spaces are so small. It’s ridiculous,” said Travis Atria, sophomore.

“That’s why I don’t drive to campus,” said Endre Enyedy, a junior.

Junior Chris Paniewski once had his car dented. Paniewski waited until the culprit showed up and confronted him- but all turned out well, he said, since the guy paid for repairs.

“My car was damaged, but the person was nice enough to leave me a note,” said Atria. “I was lucky the guy left it. I made him pay, though.”

However, many students are not that courteous and simply leave the scene.

“A lot of people just get in their cars and drive away after doing the damage,” said Dennis Campbell, security monitor of campus police. “The big problem is that people don’t report the incidents.”

Bystander apathy also plays a role in the problem- although many students witness minor accidents, few will take the time to report them.

“I see people hitting other cars all the time,” said Atria. “I don’t report it, though. It’s not my car.”

One option to prevent possible incidents is to use different lots with larger spaces. Although this solution may require an earlier arrival and a ride on the Hurry ‘Cane shuttle, many people feel it is worth the trouble.

“I always park at the garage- the spaces are bigger there, so it’s not a problem,” said Jennifer Papp, a geography lecturer.

Bad drivers, unfortunately are not the only ones at fault. Thieves also cause a fair share of damage to students’ cars.

“I’ve had my car keyed- it wasn’t very bad, though,” said Nicole Sturzeneger, sophomore. “I’m from out of state, that’s my guess why it happened.”

“My friend’s car was broken into. It was about to be stolen, but someone came by, and the people ran away. They took the stereo and cut a lot of wires. That caused a lot of damage- the car was still screwing up weeks later,” said Lara Traver, a freshman.

The Department of Public Safety is in charge of handling any incidents on campus.

“We have a short form for insurance purposes,” Campbell said. “We call the police if the people want to file a report. If there is no one there, though, there’s not much we can do.”

“I left my car alone for two days, and it got broken into. They broke the window, took the CD player and everything else inside. I called the cops, but they said they couldn’t do anything,” said sophomore Alex Saleeby. “I’ll bet that if it was their car, they would have done something.”

March 8, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.