Students at the Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) Campus have expressed concern over unclear communication regarding changing parking permit procedures and other parking woes for the 2019 summer and fall semesters.
During those semesters, the University implemented a permit-less parking feature whereby students purchase a parking permit through the NuPark platform on PirateNet. After the purchase, students from the IHS campus can access both IHS and the main campus’ parking.
However, for the IHS campus, students must physically pick up their Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) permits from the IHS Campus Public Safety Office.
Students have been frustrated with the limited communication surrounding the transaction of the HMH parking permit and parking difficulties on the IHS campus.
Junior nursing major Jamiah Dunson discovered that if she acquired the permit, she would be charged $517. She did not have an issue with the high price, until she found out that she would have to pay up front. She was upset that she could not charge her Bursar account for the HMH permit.
“It is already bad enough that they are making us pay for parking at IHS when they chose to move our school into Nutley, and then on top of that they gave parking over to Hackensack for them to collect money from us,” Dunson said. “So, I did not and will not be paying for a parking permit.
Since she decided not to purchase the permit, she said she parks a few blocks away from the school and walks to the IHS campus.
According to Dunson, her friends paid up front, yet they complain about the parking on campus.
“Sometimes the parking at that campus is so bad, especially if you come for late morning and afternoon classes, that [her friends] have to park in the parking lot behind the faculty lot and walk almost a mile or so to get to classes,” Dunson said.
Junior nursing major Kimmy Paltz claimed that although she has purchased a $485 parking permit, she has yet to receive access to the parking lot. Currently, Paltz has to call Public Safety every day to allow her to enter the parking lot.
“An employee in the office told me to give her my permit number,” Paltz said. “I did. She informed me that my pass was expired. When I looked at the proof of my transaction, I noticed that the pass number they registered me as was different than the $485 sticker they sold me at the beginning of the school year.”
On Wednesday, she received an email from IHS Public Safety claiming that she will receive access to the IHS lot the following day.
Junior nursing major Gabriel Lebold also communicated his frustration regarding the nontransparent nature of the parking permit changes. Lebold claimed the NuPark receipt said the IHS parking permit cost $0. On the day he went to pick up the permit, Lebold said that he heard about the upfront charge from other students.
“There was a total lack of communication to the students,” Lebold said.
Lebold said that “no one is talking about the situation” and that students have not received proper communication about the charge.
Parking Services Manager Ann Szipszky clarified that Seton Hall does not receive revenue from valid parking permits on the IHS campus.
“Because the finances are separate between Seton Hall and Hackensack, we cannot charge their permit fees in our system or transfer them to a student’s Bursar account,” Szipszky said. “The same holds true for faculty and staff at IHS who no longer have their permit fees deducted through payroll deduction.”
In an IHS student-wide email sent prior to the Summer 2019 semester, the email detailed that no payment will be required at the time of permit selection on NuPark. The email specified that students will have to pay at the IHS Campus Public Safety Office for the window decal where only credit and debit cards will be accepted.
Additionally, the email included that the prices for a valid full year HMH permit for commuters is $517.13 and for residents the permit is $485.
Although the email listed the alterations to parking permit procedures, the email did not explicitly mention that students would not be able to charge their Bursar accounts. The email only stated that students could purchase the permit at the IHS Campus Public Safety Office.
Moreover, Szipszky explained the permit year starts earlier for the IHS campus than the main campus.
“The new process requires those on the IHS campus to bring their receipt from the new parking system to the Public Safety Office on the Nutley campus along with a credit card so that they can purchase and be issued their permit.”
According to Szipszky, the only acceptable payment method for the HMH permit will be a credit card.
Dunson said that she hopes that Seton Hall will make modifications to the parking system at IHS.
“So far nothing has been done about the issue, I doubt if they will make any changes,” Dunson said. “But if something could possibly be done about this for next semester and the following semesters to come, that would be very appreciated by everyone I am sure.”
Thomas Schwartz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.