University of Alabama: Parking-Permit Crap

Every year, the University of Alabama tries to force its faculty to buy a parking permit. Ignoring the fact that some might bike, take one of the new buses, or walk onto campus, its parking registration software defaults to charging you for a permit. That is, if you do not explicitly opt out of a permit, you are automatically charged for it.

I objected to this crappy extortion system when it was first implemented a few years ago, but to no avail. So now, every year, I take time out of my day to tell them no, I do not want a stinking parking permit.

This year as I was doing this I noticed a new (I think) paragraph in the form that states:

I certify that I have declined to register for a parking permit from the University of Alabama for the 2009-2010 academic school year. If I do not purchase a permit and drive a vehicle on campus, I will be responsible for any citations received on that vehicle. If the vehicle is wheel locked or impounded, I will be responsible for all fees and citations associated with the wheel lock or impoundment of my vehicle.

One is required to “agree” with this statement before the form may be processed. The grammar of one sentence caught my eye:

If I do not purchase a permit and drive a vehicle on campus, I will be responsible for any citations received on that vehicle.

Now, since the “do not” in this sentence applies to both “purchase” and “drive” the sentence can be broken down to mean:

  1. If I do not purchase a permit and
  2. If I do not drive a vehicle on campus,
  3. Then I will be responsible for any citations received on that vehicle.

How paradoxical! I went ahead and clicked the “agree” box, but how will I resolve of this paradox? How can I be responsible for citations if the vehicle has not been driven on campus?

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