Yes, there is a $3 charge to park at the Civic Center parking decks. It's the law, there is nothing we can do about it if that is where you want to park.
What we have done is arrange FREE parking across the street from the Civic Center in the Charleston Mall. The Mall will provide the entire top level of their parking facility and also provide security personnel to watch our bikes. You won't be able to get to, or leave, that level without a wristband.
If you absolutely must park your bike next to your tent, you can do that at the other two camping areas, you just can't do it at the U of C. As for security, just take the same precautions you would take if camping at a KOA or state park and you should be fine.