EDITORIAL: University should remove campus eyesore

The red truck with a giant Tan USA sign in its bed parked behind the Library has been immobile for so long it is practically a USF landmark. The strangely Cooper Hall-like cobwebs and the truck’s flat tire are proof enough of its fixed position on campus.

The owner of the truck is USF student Angela Hallock who co-owns the Tan USA store near campus and who, though she did hang a valid student tag in the windshield, never bothered to put the truck in her name or update its license plate.

Though both oversights are violations of Florida Statues, officials from both USF Parking Services and University Police (UP) said that it is not worth their energy to take action to remove the vehicle from its spot.

It’s frustrating enough that this truck permanently takes up a prime parking space in the highly coveted parking lot behind the Library, but when a blemish such as the unmoving ad is allowed to unlawfully remain within view of two major University roadways amid extensive efforts to beautify campus, it is just confounding.

Yes, UP is busy, and reprimanding the owners of an abandoned car is not, and should not, be its primary concern. However, there is hard evidence that this vehicle-turned-cheap-advertisement has not moved from the space in more than a year.

Even Gary Hallock said the truck has not moved since he and wife Angela purchased it in conjunction with Tan USA a year ago.

The grace period for action ended long ago, and it is time for USF to deal with the offense.

That a musty old pickup with an oversized plywood ad attached to it has escaped the attention of the University is not only contradictory to its campus beautification efforts, which include landscaping services, sparkly new buildings and an expansive irrigation system, it undermines them completely.

It is a wonder why the University wastes the time and expense on such services in the first place, given its refusal to deal with this blatant eyesore.

If people want to advertise on campus, they should do so in a legitimate way, such as by distributing flyers or purchasing an ad in a newspaper or magazine. They should not be allowed to simply buy a parking tag and abandon a car that violates state laws in a student parking lot to escape normal ad fees.

Furthermore, USF should drop the phony “no recourse” and “no time” claims and address the problem. Parking Services has the authority to move abandoned cars, and they should exert it.