BEN GOTT - COLUMNIST
I was going to avoid joining the fray about Bowdoin parking, but
I witnessed an event yesterday that made me understand exactly why my
fellow Bowdoin students are so upset about this fiasco. I hereby submit
this story in the hope that it will seem as crazy to you as it did to
As a student teacher, I have occasion to awaken very early in the
morning and to be out of the Tower and heading toward the Coffin lot at
around 6:30 a.m. I have seen cars being towed on several of my morning
trips and, although this seems pretty unfair, it also seems to fit within
the College's parking guidelines.
However, I was heading toward the parking lot yesterday when I
spotted a tow truck, idling near the "Faculty" section of the Coffin lot.
"Oh, man," I thought to myself. "Some poor guy or gal is getting towed."
When I got closer, though, I noticed that the tow truck wasn't actually
doing anything. There was no car on the back. It was just sitting in the
That looked weird to me, but it was no weirder than what I was
about to observe. For as I approached my car, the tow truck drove out
of the "Faculty" section, and began to circle around the rest of the lot.
The driver stopped in front of a car that had been ticketed, got out,
looked at the ticket, and got back in. It seemed (to me, at least) that
this tow truck driver was looking for people to tow.
Now, I understand that it is important to preserve parking spaces
for the faculty, staff, and senior students who live on campus. I get
incredibly annoyed when, after a long day of teaching, I return to Coffin
lot to find that there are no spaces available. However, it seems dishonest
that the towing company-who is obviously making a tidy profit off of Bowdoin
students' cars-is acting so proactively. In the course of doing extensive
research for this article (research that involved me talking to my roommates),
I found out that, in fact, others have witnessed the tow truck simply
"hanging around" campus. If Security wants to enforce parking regulations,
that's one thing. On the other hand, if the towing company is taking the
initiative for enforcing Bowdoin's parking regulations, that's another
It is possible that I witnessed this event incorrectly, and that
Security had called the towing company, and that the towing company had
come to campus with a particular car in mind. However, as I drove out
of Coffin lot, so did the tow truck. Food for thought, huh?