BY KRISTIN A. BARYN
SC Contributing Writer
According to Schliers’ towing company, the beginning of each semester brings a ridiculous amount of tows from Pocono Medical Center (PMC)—several a day.
Whose vehicles wind up locked behind a tall fence at 1870 West Main St, Stroudsburg? The vehicles belong to East Stroudsburg University students.
The average amount of the three mile tow to Schliers is $212 if vehicle owners get there in the towing company’s generous two hour grace period. Otherwise, they stand to risk spending an extra $40 a day for storage.
Parking poses an issue every semester, and now with the new parking permit fees that some cannot afford, students find themselves without a place to park, so the PMC patient parking which borders Center Street becomes an appealing option.
However, unsuspecting students do not realize that PMC security has surveillance cameras set up to watch for illegal parkers.
As soon as students walk away from their cars and towards campus, security phones Schliers and has the perpetrators’ vehicles towed.
But, having your vehicle towed is not even the worst part.
Try walking back to the parking lot to find your vehicle missing after an hour. The mind plays tricks, so naturally, you think that you must have left it somewhere else because no one wants to believe someone stole their car from a hospital parking lot and most would not think the hospital towed it.
After a third lap around the lot with no vehicle in sight, you swallow it and think the worst. Hence, the tears come as you phone the police to report your vehicle, along with the personal belongings in it, stolen.
Now, if security watches as you leave your vehicle, they must watch as you walk back to where you left is and start to panic.
They must see you circle and re-circle the parking lot, throw your hands up in frustration and confusion, stand in one spot and spin around as if your 360 degree turns will reveal the vehicle as quickly and mysteriously as it had disappeared.
They must see you put the phone to your ear and call, and who else would that call be to?
The police of course.
Does security come out and alert the student to where their missing vehicle is?
Do they stop the student from phoning the police, dragging them away from possible emergencies to waste their time with a crime that never took place?
No.Instead, security sits back and watches without a shred of decency to inform the already stressed student.
They allow the police to come and investigate, write a report, and waste everyone’s time. It is not until the officer contacts security to see if they caught the thief on camera that students learn where their cars went. Depending on how long that takes, the two hour grace period ends and the towing bill increases by $40.
Being a struggling student myself, I cannot afford a few hundred dollar towing bill, as I am sure most cannot. So ESU students, break open your piggy banks and keep a stock of quarters for the meters or break down and find a way to purchase a parking permit. It will save you money and aggravation in the long run. Pocono Medical Center is serious. They do not take kindly to students using the patient parking lot and will retaliate.
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