Miami Dade College students will soon be able to drive down Bird Road in their stepfather’s Corolla with a little more pride. The college announced that it has redesigned its parking decals to look more like the University of Miami’s, an effort the college thinks will encourage more students to attend their institution by eliminating the stigma attached to having a MDC decal on their car.
“This remodel could change a lot of people’s lives," said Miami-Dade College President Eduardo J. Padron, who suggested the decal redesign after a valet attendant chose to assist an 18-year-old with an S-Class before him, a decision he believes was based solely on his parking pass.
In addition to increased valet attention, initial research suggests these new decals could also result in Miami-Dade College students getting towed 100% less than they did with the old decals. Students can also expect an average of three fewer middle fingers directed at them when they drive down I-95 (although an average of two more middle fingers when they are north of the I-4 corridor or anywhere in Ohio).
Armando Rodriguez was one of the first students to get the new decal and is very happy with the results. “I went on my first date since getting into MDC," said the Miami-Dade College Sophomore who definitely plans on transferring. "I’m pretty sure she is also a MDC student, but she only agreed to go out with me because she thinks I go to UM," said Mr. Rodgriguez. “I'm trying to get a fake UM student ID and sublease a condo in Brickell before our next date, if you know anyone.”
Not everyone is happy with the remodeled decal. University of Miami students are very upset that people who are of a lower economic status will be treated like they have the same money, privilege, and sophisticated drug habits as UM students. "MDC students obviously want to be us, but they need to find their own thing. Next thing you know they'll be wearing tank tops every day no mater what the weather or occasion like us too."
UM Junior Lawrence Lauren expressed his own concerns: “I hope these Miami-Dade College students just keep in mind that I’m better than them. Not academically, but because I have more money than them.”
Despite these objections, many are applauding the redesign. "The decal is finally letting our community college students feel comfortable in their community," said President Padron. "Statistically, every single resident of Miami goes to Miami Dade College, so we think this decal will make a huge impact."
Miami-Dade College students can pick up their new "UM" parking pass from office services. Similar parking decal redesigns are planned at Florida International University, which will introduce its own "FIUm" parking decals next semester, and at the University of Miami itself, where starting in 2018 students will be able to chose parking decals designed to look like popular "reach" schools Georgetown, Harvard, and NYU.