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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

How Carleton Security fails

< my undying commitment to Broomball, I managed to break my foot this January. All in all, it was not the end of the world. It hurts a bit, and being on crutches makes me late for everything, but all in all, it’s not that bad. Most people are really understanding: professors are not upset when I hobble in a few minutes late, people open doors for me, ResLife gives me sympathetic looks and an elevator key, and even the Bon Apetit staff is understanding when I managed to spill a tray of food at Burton.

Everyone is understanding, except for Carleton Security. They see my broken foot not as a sports injury, but as phony ploy to get more convenient parking. They are deeply suspicious as to why I would want to park in the townhouse lot for two weeks for so-called “doctor’s appointments” instead of going to them from the Rec Center. When I emailed security to switch my registration, I was informed that, “Doctor appointments are not considered an approved use reason to have your car on campus.” So if you have a short-term injury like me or a long term illness, you’re going to have to walk to the Rec. That is frankly ridiculous. The security supervisor told me that I would have to go to my doctor, be designated as handicapped, then go to the Minnesota DMV, then come back to security in order to be considered a “hardship case” and be able to park in handicapped spots on campus for a grand total of two weeks until the end of the term.

I protested that in order to do that, I would, in fact, have to drive there. “No exceptions” was the response. “If I make an exception for you then I will need to make an exception for everyone…You will not be able to move to the Townhouse lot.” There was a strong smell of condescension in the email.

So now I’m stuck with the choice, do I hobble over the Rec Center for each of my appointments for my foot, or do I hobble over there to go to an additional appointment to get the tag, then go to the DMV and Carleton Security in order to get parking for the final nine days of the term? My right foot faces a Catch-22.

Now you may be saying, “What a shock, this bureaucracy is being cold and bureaucratic,” but for four years I’ve been telling myself that Carleton is supposed to be different – understanding, compassionate, and Minnesota nice. Carleton has a myriad of failings that we have all experienced, but telling a guy on one leg to walk to the Rec when there is ice on the ground is an especially petty one. This is my first real experience with Carleton Security; I imagine they do a tremendous job ZAPing parties and putting out popcorn fires, but why can’t they have a sane parking policy?

-Ted Falk is a fourth-year student

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