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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State proposes new, deadly ‘Lottery’-inspired parking solution

Satire: We can’t sell fewer permits, but we can reduce the amount of students who need to park, university says
Heather Tay
Will a violent, lottery system mean more open parking spaces in the near future? Photo by Heather Taylor on Nov. 1, 2023.

Chico State students have long lamented the terrible state of parking at the university. Now, a potential lethal solution is being proposed by the administration. 

Czar of Parking Services, Anita Dahller, spoke on the potential for a lottery-based system of awarding parking permits. 

Students have been complaining because we sell so many parking permits beyond the number of actual, physical spaces,” Dahller said. “In order to ease the issue of overcrowding, we are exploring the idea of a lottery that would potentially reduce the amount of permits being used.” 

When this idea was initially leaked, students had mixed reactions. Some were glad the administration seemed to be listening to their concerns, while others were frustrated that the solution seemed to be simply randomizing who could or couldn’t get permits. 

Parking lotteries have been used at Cal Poly to “level the playing field,” although spaces can still be hard to find with this system in place. 

Dahller offered clarification regarding the lottery: “There seems to be some confusion, and I want to be sure students understand. We aren’t talking about a lottery system like the jackpot, but rather a Shirley Jackson-inspired approach to drawing names for parking privileges.” 

The Parking Services Czar also referenced popular media like “The Hunger Games” and “Squid Game” in addition to Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” as the inspiration for Chico State’s potential lottery parking.

Under the lottery system, students buying a parking permit would be automatically entered into a drawing. Those whose names were selected — approximately 75-100 per semester, depending upon enrollment rates — would be released into University Stadium on the first day of the new semester. 

The remaining permit holders would then have the opportunity to eliminate them via whatever means necessary. 

Dahller assured there are options for students who practice pacifism or non-violence and may object to the lottery system. Those students are free to walk or bike to school.

The administration holds that reports of pedestrian v. car accidents, heatstroke in warmer months and bike thefts are all greatly exaggerated. 

“The human body is highly adaptable to the Chico heat, and scrapes, bruises, and even some broken bones received from careless drivers just serve as a reminder to look both ways in the future,” Dahller said. 

No alternative solution was offered for students who have disabilities, but Dahller said all are welcome to participate in the lottery as it is an inclusive and non-discriminatory program. 

“Students seem to really enjoy competition-based media, like ‘The Hunger Games,’ and parking issues seem like an arena in which their passions run high, so we’re excited to hear the feedback to the lottery,” Dahller said. 

Early opinions from the student body are varied. 

An anonymous student who commutes 30 minutes to school said, “I don’t really see that I have another choice. I live too far away to walk, so I have to participate in whatever system the university chooses to put in place. I don’t really like it, but I guess I’ll just start working on my hand-to-hand combat skills now.” 

“I think we should look at this a little more closely,” an unnamed English major said. “Wasn’t the point of at least some of that dystopian media that these sorts of systems turn us against each other instead of focusing on the real problem, that is, the people making decisions and serving as administration?” 

Dahller had no comment, but said on an entirely unrelated note, she heard that due to budget cuts, some literature and media analysis classes may be discontinued at Chico State in the near future. 

She also noted that the permit fees of those students who meet their demise in the stadium will not be refunded to their families. 

“Unfortunately, that just isn’t possible,” Dahller said. “The permit purchase is your lottery ticket. It’s completely up to chance from there if you will be able to use it for its intended purpose or not. And besides, parking fees are important to fund the building and maintenance of parking lots.” 

In the eyes of the university, Dahller said, the lottery system will fully address the issue of finding parking spaces. 

“We can’t issue fewer permits, because that is an important revenue source. And we can’t update or add any more parking. So the reasonable step is to reduce the amount of students needing a parking space,” Dahller said.

Ultimately, the lottery system is expected to be adopted with unanimous approval. Students will be notified before it goes into effect, but Dahller suggested they could begin practicing and honing their skills and mindset now. 

“Anyone who currently uses our parking services can tell you the atmosphere is already one of cut-throat competition between students desperately trying to find a space to make it to class in time,” Dahller said. “I don’t see how a little bloodshed and murder is much of an escalation.” 

This piece is satire, and meant to be treated as such. Any similarities to real-world people or situations are purely coincidental. 

Heather Taylor can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Heather Taylor
Heather Taylor, Copy Editor
Heather Taylor is a journalism major at Chico State. This is her third semester with The Orion. She has worked as a reporter and copy editor. Outside of school, Taylor enjoys reading, collecting vinyl records, hiking and kayaking, making crochet projects and spending time with her pets. 

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    Antonio L. Garcia // Nov 2, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    “The Orion.” Such a rag 🙄