“Valet” Parking: an Umbrella Term

Berenice Moreno, Contributing writer

On the northern side of the Cal State LA campus there are umbrellas marked by the words ”valet.” Valet parking on a college campus may seem a bit excessive, but according to university officials, the service provided is falsely defined by the titled umbrella, nor is it an effort to pamper students.


“I know the umbrellas say ‘Valet.’ Unfortunately, those are the only umbrellas they have,” John Orr, parking operations manager, said referring to the three black umbrellas in Parking Lot 5.


Cal State LA is building a new parking structure next to Lot 5. That construction led the campus to temporarily lose some existing parking spots, according to the university’s parking and transportation website. Valet parking, which started earlier this year, is one of the ways the university is helping ease the parking problem.


What’s called “valet” should actually be called attendant assisted parking, Orr said.


“The difference is, in valet, you pull up, hand the valet your keys, and they park your car. At the end of the day, you bring the valet your ticket and they go get your car and bring it to you. With attendant assisted parking, you self-park your vehicle in the drive aisle and then leave your keys with the attendant so if an individual needs to leave, the attendant can move your vehicle so the other person can get out. The purpose of this is to increase the number of vehicles that can park in the lot,” he said.


Though the keys of one’s vehicle are not in the owner’s possession while using the parking service, one of the parking attendants, Guillermo Ramirez, ensures that they follow standard safety precautions.


“All cars are locked at all times. We keep the keys in a secure place, and we make sure we report any unfamiliar activity and we work with public safety to keep students’ property safe.” said Ramirez.


Officials of the public safety department said the valet parking service has been servicing about 160 cars each day.. It fills up during peak times, meaning that it’s effective, Orr added.