QU: Respect goes both ways

By on February 8, 2006

Quinnipiac University has a parking issue. That is well stated, and the university is doing all they can to improve the situation. Two weeks ago, my sister, Anna, dropped me off at school and planned on driving home to Attleboro, MA, soon after. Plans changed when we hit enormous amounts of traffic on Route 95. It being late, rainy and dark my parents did not want my younger sister driving home that night. Not thinking, I parked her car, with the parent sticker, in the Hill/Village Circle. I did not think it would be an issue, but ultimately I was wrong and received a $10 ticket, which I will gladly pay. My problem does not lie in the ticket itself but how I received it and was treated by security.

I was walking to Anna’s car along with my roommate Paul at 7:30 a.m. the next morning to send her off. Her car was blocked in by a security SUV. I then realized that I would probably get a ticket and that would be that. Wrong. As we walked to the car the security officer asked whose car it was, and Anna answered that it was hers. I then asked the security officer what was going on and he quickly shot back that he was not talking to me and he was talking to Anna. I then told him she was my sister and I would like to know what is going on. He again came back with that he was not talking to me and had no idea what was going on.

I do not have a problem with the officer doing his job, but I do have a problem with him treating me and my sister with disrespect. He could have gone about dealing with us in a better way. We were not disrespectful to him, but he made the choice and was disrespectful to us. Anna and I then had to go see Quinnipiac’s parking director, Ron Colavolpe.

Being Quinnipiac’s chief of parking, one would think that Mr. Colavolpe would have been more respectful to my sister and me. He first asked if Anna was a student. When she said she wasn’t, he told her she was trespassing and she could be arrested. Mr. Colavolpe again told her in an aggressive tone that she could be arrested. This did not sit well with my sister and she was scared. After Mr. Colavolpe finally let me explain the situation, he immediately changed his tone and explained why parking is not allowed in the Hill/Village Circle.

These events do not seem to fit into the universities values of, “sensitivity to students and a spirit of community.” If the university truly wanted to preach these values to their students, they would treat students who are doing no wrong and not causing any trouble with the respect they deserve. I hoped that I would be able to be treated like an adult, not like a child. I am treated with respect by other university employees, such as the people who work in the Bursar’s office. Just because someone works for security does not mean they are above treating students like they should be treated. They are a university employee just the same.

Word of this incident got back to my parents, who were understandably not happy. They were disturbed that students of Quinnipiac and a family member would be treated with such disregard by employees of the university. My father wrote an e-mail to Quinnipiac’s head of security, John Twining. My father was unhappy with the treatment my sister and I received and wanted to let the school know. This incident happened on January 25th, and my father wrote the letter the same day. He has not received a response. If the university really wanted to preach values of community, they could take five minutes to write a response. It could say Anna and I were wrong, fine. It does not matter – what matters is that Quinnipiac at least responds.

My father, being quite perturbed at the lack of response from Mr. Twining, then wrote and e-mail to President Lahey. My father explained the situation. This e-mail was sent January 31st. As I write this, it is February 5th, and still nothing. I would like to pose a question to anyone at the university – are the concerns of parents of students not worth listening to? It is ridiculous that no one in the security office or President Lahey’s office would take the time to respond. If the university wants its students to be respectful to members of the Quinnipiac community, they should start by practicing what they preach.


About Kyle Sullivan