By Chris Pace
Cars towed around Central Connecticut State University’s campus, specifically the 1537 Stanley St. plaza, is becoming a nuisance to students.
The plaza, which is home to Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, the Underground Deli and other popular establishments, is commonly frequented by students and faculty between and after classes, but has proved to be a troublesome stop for some.
Signs posted throughout the plaza state that cars may be towed by the discretion of the plaza owner and that it is common knowledge that students who leave the property run the risk of having their cars towed. Recently, however, students have claimed that their cars have been towed while they were still on the plaza’s ground.
“I grabbed a sandwich at Underground Deli and headed up the stairs to the fundraiser. I was there from anywhere between an hour to an hour and a half when I left to find my car gone,” stated Alexis Bowen, a junior at CCSU. She said that she arrived at the parking lot at 3:30 p.m. for her volleyball club’s fundraiser at FroyoWorld.
Her car was towed out of the lot on September 4th. It surprised Bowen at how difficult it was to get her car back.
Bowen’s mother, Myrna, Director of Transfer and Academic Articulations at CCSU, brought her daughter to the towing company to retrieve her car. She was charged $189 plus tax to remove her car from the impound lot.
When questioned why a patron of the plaza, Bowen, was towed, they assured that if she had been towed she must have left the plaza. She was one of 10 cars who were also towed from the plaza during that day.
“I went to the convenience store to grab a Gatorade before class… I wasn’t in the store for five minutes and they towed my car,” said Jim Irving, a student and employee at CCSU. “They told me the reason was because I was parked in the fire lane, which is not true, so I paid my bill and I missed my class because of it.”
The owner of the plaza, Dean Levy, justifies the tows.
“I am not informed about how many cars are towed, but I would guess that 99% of cars towed there deserve it,” said Levy, a manager at JDME Management and owner of the plaza. “It’s a very small lot with two entrances, so if a car is in the way or if the vehicle owner leaves the premises, they have the right to tow the car.”
Richard Bachoo, Chief Administrative Officer at CCSU said, “We are not happy about what appears to be abusive of our students.” He stated, “I’ve had at least two or three occasions of students who went into the plaza, using the plaza and have had their vehicles towed.”
When Bachoo was told some facts about the policies in the plaza he commented, “Until I can get an answer I don’t plan to use the plaza, and I encourage students to not use any of the vendors in the plaza if that’s what it takes.”
Jim Brice, the shop’s Towing Manager, declined to comment.
The parking lot is private property and for customer and employee use only. Employees must contact the towing company with their vehicle information so that their cars do not get towed.