Students skeptical about parking regulations on campus
Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter
When it comes to living on campus, there are many ways to get around the city of New Haven. Some students take the shuttle, others take a bus, but there are many students on campus who drive themselves whenever they need to get somewhere or want to do something fun. However, when returning to campus in your car, that also means that there needs to be a parking space to park in. What happens if you cannot park where you are supposed to? Simply put, you may receive a ticket from the campus police.
Roughly three years ago, it came about that freshman on campus were allowed to have cars for the first time, and that policy has continued since then. In speaking to a couple of freshmen, it was easy to see how they felt regarding the parking policies, including punishment.
Matthew Torrisi, a freshman Italian major, brought his car on campus to get around town without needing to work on the schedule of the shuttles.
“Am I afraid of getting a ticket for parking? Sort of, yes. This is my only ride, and getting a ticket isn’t something I’m interested in, so I stay parked over in the West garage,” he said. In hearing where Matthew typically parks, it was asked if he knew where he was and was not allowed to park. “…No. I actually don’t know everywhere I am allowed to park. I know I can park in West, but elsewhere on campus… Not especially.”
This is a typical student concern. Many of them are unsure of where they can and cannot park because there are new policies for year, such as electric parking spaces and the gravel lot (12 A), which is only open after 4:30 p.m. However, there are cases like Gina Holmes, a freshman political science major, who made a mistake that many freshman might have also made.
“You see, I’m nervous about a ticket, or I was, because I didn’t have my sticker on until this past weekend. I never had time to put it on so I was always worried about a ticket,” she said.
This raises the question of how often are the parking policies on campus enforced. For these questions, Lieutenant Richard Randall of the SCSU Campus Police had the answers. He explained why students see police cars driving through the lots and garages.
“Firstly, we send cars to the lots and garages to look for any potential crime happening. Our first job is to stop any crime on campus, and that’s one way we do it. Finding out whether you are parked in the wrong space, especially the electric car spaces, parking outside the lines, or on the first floor of the Fitch Parking garage which is faculty only, is something we take care of on the way back,” he said.
With this in mind, the question of residential parking and offenses in residential lots was a simple one for the Lieutenant to answer.
“Parking offenses in the residential lots are at one of the lowest rates, at least in my time working here. There is hardly ever a problem though we might get a call from someone at Schwartz regarding commuters parking there, which they cannot do. Occasionally there are tickets, but there has never been much of a problem in recent years,” said Randall.
There are also times when perhaps a student receives a ticket because they either didn’t have their sticker up yet, or perhaps were helping a friend out and quickly parked in a lot they weren’t supposed to. Then what happens? There is actually an appeal process for tickets as described by Lt. Randall.
“If you get a ticket, and you really believe that you can contest it like you don’t have your new sticker up yet, but you are ticketed, you can prove you have your sticker and the fee will be waived,” he said. “However, we only hear about one contested ticket per month, so most likely it was a ticket worthy offense.”
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Credit