On Green Parking Privilege

maharishi university of management green parking

The least of my concerns with Maharishi University of Management (MUM), I still can’t resist addressing the campus parking and enforcement protocol. We’re all familiar with the “GREEN” parking privilege denoted by the signs which reserve choice parking spaces for electric, hybrid, and biodiesel automobiles. My inner engineering voice, and lover of our dear earth, whispers appreciation for the reduced consumption of fossil fuels. Even further, added protection to the ecosystem — namely the atmosphere and the O2 molecules which comprise the earth’s ozone.

However, I suggest the enforcement of these regulations be strictly limited to the campus security officers who serve this particular function, rather than the Sustainable Living faculty. While many faculty exhibit a free and gregarious personality, it hardly justifies an ad hoc role change on whim. There’s a reason why our security officers are committed to their duty and subsequent protocol in respect to enforcement of these regulations.

Individuals in marked — or otherwise known — security vehicles are trained for such approach. There’s a “skill in doing” involved in this paradigm of enforcement. A random human, suddenly approaching my vehicle making gestures and frantically vocalizing at me through the glass, is somewhat frightful — I don’t know you; who are you?

So as I lower the window an inch-or-two to entertain your encroachment, its largely because I want you to “cease and desist” rather than listen to your commentary. I’m more than able to the read sign — pointing at it and reading it to me is somewhat pretentious. Moreover, it’s presumptuous as some “GREEN” vehicles aren’t necessarily marked as such on their exterior.

Even further, if you can’t identify the model of the vehicle, how can you conclude with certainty that it’s not “GREEN?” — particularly if it’s a 2013 model year. Further yet, if you ask me to “pull out my owner’s manual” from my glove box in attempt to reinforce your allegation, I’d characterize your pursuit as an overextension of jurisdiction — albeit with presumably good intention. Being a member of the Sustainable Living administration fails to justify such authoritarian assertions, a mis-parked car in this context hardly endangers anyone.

Allow me to approach this somewhat backwards logic of the “GREEN” parking privilege from an automotive engineering standpoint. Why should a Toyota Prius harbor more esteem than a 2013 Lincoln, Cadillac, Audi, BMW, or Mercedes Benz? The highest pursuit of an automobile is to deliver it’s passengers from point “A” to point “B” SAFELY, without accident, injury, or fatality — A failure of a machine to achieve this premise is essentially a failure to be an automobile. This is ultimately the measure of an automobile, ask anyone who’s experienced such automotive misfortune. When misfortune strikes, you want the security of knowing that every algorithm known has been thoroughly applied to ensure that the automobile achieves it’s highest pursuit.

Since when does the life of the passenger fall by the way-side? If it’s an explicit matter of fuel efficiency, a 1995 Geo Metro boasts 53 mpg, so perhaps we should rush out and purchase one of those — wait, it’s not a hybrid, biodiesel, nor electric car; no dice. Moreover, there are more innovations in fuel efficiency than biodiesel, electric, or hybrids so why marginalize other innovators’ achievements with such limitation?

The answer to such a question is obvious. From a marketing standpoint, green favoritism helps push the sustainable-renewable-green-energy essence of the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) brand into salience by associating the university with these vehicles and their placement in high visibility parking spots — though I find the “GREEN PARKING” signs impose on the natural beauty of the landscape (and the natural order of engineering). Lower visability parking, such as that of the Golden Dome Market, seems to lack the Green Parking spaces.

In the words of Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Master Shake I say “You don’t own space, so stop acting like you do!” ; let the professional security personnel demonstrate their skill and expereince; writing a parking citation.