Parking Cheating at UCLA


Parking Cheating at UCLA

I have been following an ongoing discussion at UCLA on how their parking permits are distributed.  It seems they use a point system and the number of points you have is based on an application you fill out.  Obviously if you live on campus your chances of receiving a permit are less than if you live 40 miles away. If you are a PhD candidate your chances are better than an entering freshman. Handicapped vs non handicapped, etc etc etc — There are, it seems, many variables.

What has happened, is that there has be come a "culture of cheating" on applications for parking. Students who wouldn’t think of cheating on an exam or stealing a newspaper from an open rack, jump at the chance to cheat on their parking applications. This is a known phenomena. It is discussed openly by students and faculty alike. But nothing appears to be done about it.

You can read about it in a paper written by Don Shoup.  The paper is here. Although the entire paper is extremely interesting, you will want to scroll down to pages 6-11 and appendices B and C.

Shoup comments that at a major institution of higher learning with entire departments dealing with morality and ethics, cannot suss out a way to issue parking permits.  Of course, Don recommends a supply and demand approach for parking charges — lessening the charges when demand is down, and increasing them when supply is up. 

However, a university is a giant bureaucratic political animal with many mouths to satisfy.  Parking policy has evolved bit by bit, with each interest group (athletics, professors, staff, and then various levels of students) being given a bit of the pie. My guess is that what has happened, is, like in Mel Brook’s "The Producers," more than 100% of the whole may have been sold.

Unfortunately the end result is not a smash hit like "Springtime for Hitler" but a dud.


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John Van Horn

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