Today I got a call at work that went something like this:
Mother: My son and his friends just got their motorcycles towed and/or booted because they were parked on the sidewalk outside the Creamery entrance. I just wanted to ask, does BYU condone this?
Me: Yes, vehicles sometimes get booted or towed when they are parked incorrectly and are not parked in valid spots. Unfortunately, we do not do appeals on boots or tows.
Mother: Does BYU know this is going on? It just seems like cruel and unusual punishment for poor college students who made a simple mistake. Can I write a letter? I just don’t feel good about this.
Me: Yes, you are more than welcome to write a letter. You can address is to [name], and mail it to our office.
Mother: Who makes these rules? Do they know what they are doing? Is this really the spirit of BYU?
[I suppose you think this would be a good parking spot, too?]
– – -Yes ma’am. Your son parked his motorcycle on busy sidewalk in front of a store. I, in all honesty, do not think that a$150 boot fee is too much for that particular act of stupidity.
In addition, you are what I would lovingly refer to as a “helicopter parent.” Your kid’s in college. I really think that by now, he should be able to take care of his own parking issues and not have his mom fight all of his battles.
It has been, enlightening, to say the least, to see the young batch of freshmen this year. I am amazed at how dependent they are on their parents. Or how much their parents force dependence on their children.
Also, I am always interested to see how people expect there to be no punishment at BYU, it being the “Lord’s University” and all. Often, people think Provo must be like the Celestial Kingdom where everyone floats on clouds, plays harps, and parks where ever the heck they want. It’s not.
In Provo, there is, as Dostoyevsky says, both crime and punishment. People are shocked when their laptops or backpacks get stolen and are outraged when they are issued a parking ticket or get their bike impounded. We have rules; we have order. BYU is not some magical place where everything goes your way.
And you know what else, the church is still true despite the fact that things don’t always go your way on campus. BYU should not equal your testimony.