Doug — pointed and opinionated

Dateline, State College.  JVH, his own self, asked me if I wanted to contribute to his blog on a semi-regular basis.  He said to be pointed and opinionated.  Any of you who know me realize that this is far from my true self, but I shall endeavour to honor his request.  He also accused me of knowing something about the dynamics of campus parking and I will agree thoroughly with that statement.  I have learned a lot over the years and not all of it was easy to learn.  I must have learned quite a bit because even though I retired from Penn State June 30, 2011, I was asked to return and help out on a few projects and to bridge the gap while my replacement is identified.  I just could not say no to our Associate Vice-president, Gail Hurley and to my boss Teresa Davis.  They have been amazing to work for.  So I guess I am giving new meaning to the phrase “retired in place.”

As I write, we are knee deep in student arrival.  The students started to return to Penn State like the swallows to Capistrano last week and today is the first day of classes.  This is my 26th student arrival from a parking management perspective, the 36th as a professional staff member at Penn State and the 38th if you count my time as a Resident Assistant back in the dark ages.  One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is the number of parents who call our office looking for parking information.  Now, you might think that is a normal thing, but as a born again contrarian, I don’t.  It seems that over the course of my career more and more parents are hovering.  I got some real dillies as an RA and some pretty nifty questions as a cop, but I just don’t understand why the parents don’t let the student call us.  Part of me is offended as it seems that they don’t trust us to give the kid the straight scoop.  The other possibility is that they don’t trust their own kid and are stepping in (hovering) to take care of the kids business.  Either option is rather disturbing.  At some point the kid has got to grow up and take on the world on their own.

Anyway, I will be chiming in a couple times a week and reporting in on some of the current hot topics in the campus parking world.  Looking at the annals of CPARK-L right now the debate du jour is whether or not your parking enforcement staff should generate enough money in parking violations to pay their own way.  See you later.

Doug Holmes

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