Preparing for The New Semester with The Barnacle®

Parking Blog January 19, 2024

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A new school semester is an exciting and stressful time for students and staff alike. One of the best ways to create a smoother transition for everyone, is by taking the guesswork out of parking. With the chaos of new and recurring students navigating course schedules, finding the right buildings, and (of course) rushing around trying not to be late to class, your institution can increase safety and decrease stress by outlining clear parking guidelines. 

But where do you start?

How do you make sure everyone knows the rules and what happens if they don’t follow them?

This article has the answers–and gives you the information you need to properly prepare your students.

Here’s what we’re covering in today’s class…

  • Why parking enforcement is crucial 
  • Tips to prepare students (and free stuff!)
  • How to start your new semester off on the right foot

Read on for a balanced strategy that helps notify new and returning students of your parking procedures. We’ve even included free resources you can use right now, so get ready to earn your Master’s in Parking Lot Preparation!

Why preparing new students with campus parking procedures is CRUCIAL

At the start of the semester,  new and returning students are trying to navigate an unfamiliar curriculum, environment, social situations, and newfound freedom. With so much to keep track of, it’s probably a safe bet that familiarizing themselves with the parking policy isn’t high on their priority list—until they discover a Barnacle on their windshield. 

Preparing students with comprehensive information on campus parking procedures is not just a formality–but a strategic necessity. Not only does it lay the groundwork for students to have a smooth semester, it also helps to improve parking compliance earlier. In the following section, we’ve provided six tips to help you ensure everyone is ready, aware, and empowered for the new semester.

Tips to prepare students 

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of sharing parking guidelines and procedures, we’ll cover steps you can take to put your parking preparation campaign into action–and there’s a bunch of free stuff we’ve put together for you, too! 

Tip #1: Email students ahead of time

In the days leading up to the start of the semester, we recommend sending an email to all new students with campus parking information. This could include:

  • Where students can find campus parking rules (AKA: a link to your university’s parking webpage).
  • A reminder that parking rules are enforced with The Barnacle®.
  • How The Barnacle works.
  • Who they can contact with questions.

If you’d like some help creating the most effective informational email possible, we’ve created an email template for you to use–and it’s free, too (we know… it’s very awesome!)  

Barnacle Announcement Email Example
Barnacle Announcement Email Example 

Tip #2: Post fliers

Another simple method to communicate campus parking procedures with students is by posting fliers around campus. Leave them in areas where students frequent (elevators, dining halls, dorm main entrances) and definitely include them in student welcome packets. Ensure they contain the following information:  

  • How students can avoid getting Barnacled™  
  • What to do if they get a Barnacle 
  • Why The Barnacle is better than alternatives like booting and towing  

Don’t have the time or resources to make it yourself? No problem! The Barnacle Parking team created a free template with all the information you need

Barnacle Example Flier
Barnacle Example Flier 

Tip #3: Create a social media post 

You can raise awareness on your school’s social media accounts. A simple Instagram or Facebook post can provide incoming students with what to expect in terms of campus parking procedures.  

Additionally, social media posts are a great way to show how The Barnacle® works, so students can fully understand the process.  

Need a video demonstration to share with your audience? Here’s a YouTube video that does exactly that.

 

Tip #4: Add The Barnacle® to your website 

Take some stress off students by posting everything they need to know about The Barnacle on your university website’s parking page. This makes information easily accessible, and new and returning students don’t have to try keeping track of an email from a few days or weeks ago.

Here’s what to include:

  • What The Barnacle is and how it works (you can even share the video we mentioned in tip #3).
  • How violators can resolve the issue.
  • Who they can call with questions.
  • Information on why your institution chose The Barnacle.

 

Tip #5: Be prepared for mistakes

According to Imed Bouchrika, Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist at Research.com, over 45% of US college students report experiencing above-average stress, and over 40% don’t feel rested 5 out of 7 days a week. And the first couple weeks of a semester are the perfect breeding ground for anxiety and sleepless nights. With that in mind, be prepared for people to make mistakes, and be patient as everyone gets used to the new rules. It doesn’t mean your efforts to inform students were ineffective if errors happen; it’s natural for an adjustment period to take place.

 

Tip #6: You’ve been Barnacled™ Card

If you end up having to deploy The Barnacle® early on in the semester,  you can leave a You’ve been Barnacled™ card to help lower motorists’ stress and tell them exactly how to resolve the issue. These cards tell let the motorist know:

  • They got a Barnacle because they broke the parking rules.
  • What to do to pay their fine and remove The Barnacle.
  • Why The Barnacle is more convenient than other enforcement methods.

This gives students who are not yet familiar with The Barnacle a quick resource on what they need to do next. Check it out below!

Barnacle Motorist Card Example
Barnacle Motorist Card Example 

Bonus Tip: Consistently enforce your parking rules all semester

After the ‘grace period’ is up and students have been sufficiently informed on campus parking procedures, be consistent with enforcement. Effective parking enforcement plans and tools are futile without consistency. Equip your team to monitor and address violations throughout the semester. Maintaining consistency is crucial for reducing future parking infractions and ensuring the safety of students, visitors, and staff.

How to start your semester off on the right foot with The Barnacle®

Executing a solid informational campaign that helps new and returning students prepare for The Barnacle® can drastically decrease stress and improve the safety and morale for the new semester. Here’s a review of the best ways to communicate The Barnacle and campus parking policies to your students:

  • Create an email using our free template.
  • Create social media posts about The Barnacle (and use our walk-through video).
  • Post fliers around campus and include them in student welcome packets.
  • Ensure the parking rules page on the university website contains information about The Barnacle.
  • Don’t get Barnacle-crazy right away and allow students time to get familiar with parking rules and The Barnacle.
  • Take advantage of the You’ve been Barnacled™ card the first few weeks of the semester.

Reach out to your Barnacle Parking Account manager, or one of our support experts if you’d like one or all of the templates listed in this article.

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