Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


The protest being protested

Jacob Ades is mad. Even though he lives 10 minutes away from campus, the senior economics major finds himself leaving two hours before his classes just to find a parking space. He’s become so livid that he’s going to do something about it: honk his horn like hell in front of the president’s house.

After Ades had missed class looking for a parking spot, he took out his frustrations on Photoshop, creating an image of cars crammed together with the words “PARKING PROTEST” in bright red along the bottom. He placed his image on a Facebook event page he had created to share with his close friends.
“It was kind of a joke that turned serious,” said Ades. “But it blew up, and there were 100 people who were already going, so I guess the people had spoken.”

The protest, on Thursday, Sept. 24, plans to bring “a new beginning for the parking situation at FAU,” according to Ades’ Facebook event page.

Unintentionally perpetuating the event as a joke, Ades hasn’t contacted Traffic & Parking about his ultimatum yet, which doesn’t give them an opportunity to start his parking revolution before the protest.

Mike Confino, an FAU alumnus with an associate of arts degree, also created a Facebook group dedicated to his parking woes back in 2007. The difference is that Confino spoke to the car culprits: Traffic & Parking.  He had an e-mail correspondence with then-Director Judy Ferris.

Despite his letters and a Facebook group with more than 480 members (twice the size of Ades’ group), Confino’s actions “did not alleviate the parking problems at all,” he said.
“The only advice Ms. Ferris gave to me was essentially to keep looking until I found a spot,” said Confino. His offered solution, allowing students to park on the already dry August grass, “was ‘not deemed a viable solution,’ according to Ms. Ferris’ reply.”

Though in his day the parking problem wasn’t fixed, his suggestions may have trickled down as a temporary solution to this year’s dilemma. Traffic & Parking has sent multiple e-mails to students with lists of grass areas reserved for parking, which is what Confino had suggested.
“[Confino] did it the right way by writing a letter, but he needed more manpower to prove his point,” said Ades, who hopes to execute the manpower of more than 230 students at his protest.

According to Ades, seeking out the president rather than Traffic & Parking is also more effective because “Traffic & Parking is a service, and the president controls services, so we need to get to him to make that service a priority.”

Though the event page stipulates a blockade of 20th Street, Ades remains inconsistent about the actual protest. He’s wobbling between several options, all with the goal of being as obnoxious as possible.
“The squeaky wheel gets the oil, so we need to be as squeaky as possible,” Ades said. Ultimately, Ades wants all those squeaky wheels to work toward developing a large, airport-style parking garage on the Boca campus that would accommodate an influx of students for the long run, rather than, according to Ades, building many small garages that just waste money and only temporarily fix the growing problem. 

Ades’ protest is facing a lot of opposition from fellow students. Gary Richardson, a sophomore exercise science health promotion major, feels that those behind the protest are “being lazy and demanding.” The Facebook event page is loaded with negative comments reflecting the same ideas.
“It’s good that they’ve got their point of view, because that’s how you argue and have a discussion. I found it humorous that people are actually saying things like that,” said Ades, who isn’t psyched out by the negativity.

Even if students are opposing the protest that started out as a joke, parking is still a problem. “I want it to call attention to an issue that students find pressing. It needs to be fixed. It’s not like we need to sit around and talk about how [to fix it]; just lay some asphalt down,” said Ades.


If you’re going:

-Make sure you sign up for the event at the FAU Parking Protest Facebook page so that Ades can contact you about protest updates.

-Bring your car and make sure your horn works.

-Bring a megaphone.

-If you’ve got class after the protest, move your car to an actual parking spot, unless you want to get it towed.

-As Ades put it, “If the police are there, just follow their instructions, because we don’t want anybody to get tazed.”

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