Students living in vehicles get tickets, leave campus

On the early morning of Monday, Nov. 13, Alternative Living Club students woke up to their vans filled with parking tickets upwards of $53 for multiple violations including “Beyond Designated Lanes” and “Use of Vehicle for Overnight Camping.”

The tickets were issued between 6 – 7 a.m. The ticket was for “Overnight Camping” with a comment that read “windows were covered.”

“When they gave us the eviction notice, [we were] told that our cars can be on campus during school hours, which they were,” said Cal Poly Humboldt student Sierra Cole. “They just targeted every single van and just put a ticket on it even if we weren’t sleeping in our car.”

By 8:30 a.m., students, staff, community members and University Police Department officers Peter Cress and Chance Carpenter had gathered at parking lot G11.  

“It’s just frustrating,“ Cole said. “We’re just students and we’re just trying to get through school.”

Caleb Chen, a graduate student from the sociology department, was visiting his partner in the Bay Area when he was informed he had received tickets for overnight camping. He said that the parking enforcement had no way to prove if they were sleeping in their cars or not, so the fact that they still ticketed them felt like a scare tactic to “make students leave.” For many students including Chen, this tactic is working. 

“The school is pushing students beyond the curb at the mercy of the city of Arcata and Eureka,” Chen said. 

That same Monday night, Chen and another student decided to spend the night studying in the 24-hour study room in Nelson Hall East 113. He said that despite staying awake all night, he received a disciplinary action notice the next morning through his school email for sleeping in the study room, and for refusing to leave after being asked by a police officer.

“They’re completely preventing my ability to stay here,” said Cal Poly Humboldt student Maddy Montiel, who has over $300 in pending ticket charges.

Students have no other choice but to leave the school grounds.

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