Lack of communication leads to excess of parking tickets
Jackson Volenec — Reporter
Student Government Association has been backed up with parking ticket appeal requests dating back to last semester which resulted from a large influx of ticketing.
“We have tickets from May, some over the summer as well,
and then the ones from this semester as well. So, there’s just a whole build-up of tickets we need to work on,” said SGA rep at large Lupita Barajas.
Examples from this wave of tickets include the entire performing cast of the Pippin theater show at Lyman’s Center, who all received tickets due to parking in a restricted lot that was intended for faculty and staff use only.
The cast of Pippin recieved permission from the University Assistant who was monitoring the lot at the time, as they had thought it was late enough in the day to allow students to park there.
“They were doing a show and all that, and they all got parking tickets. It’s really just them parking where they weren’t supposed to park,
technically speaking,” said Barajas.
She also said many students participating in Pippin needed to receive permission from the police before parking in the restricted lot.
There is a disconnect between the students, the University Assistants and the police department who are giving out the tickets, The Pippin cast had not communicated with the police their intentions to park there, regardless of the UA’s permission.
“When students try to park wherever they want to, the professors then run out of places to park, and they always have priority with stuff like that,” said Tracy Cox, a University Assistant on campus who monitors the parking lots and permits who can park there.
Cox said sometimes the UA’s allow students to park in the faculty lots when they are not very full, and it is late in the day. However, Cox also said many students will try and take advantage of the leeway they are given in situations like this.
“People come in and try to take advantage of it all the time. I’ll give someone 15 minutes to park, and they’ll just leave their car in the lot all day long. That is what gets you fined,” said Cox.
Students parking in restricted lots is something the police department and University Assistants have been granting students for a long time, as long as there is legitimate reasoning for why they need to park there.
“When there are events at Lyman Center, or Earl Hall, people who need to park in a more convenient lot need to ask for permission, and there’s too big of a disconnect because students are not contacting the police department beforehand. Of course, they will ticket your car if you don’t have a pass– they have no other way of knowing you are supposed to be there,” said Cox.
The campus police do not have any way of knowing which cars the UA’s have permitted to be there. When it is not properly communicated to the department that there is an exception being made, issues such as this are the result.
“Generally speaking, those are regulated lots. At times, [a UA] may direct someone to park in that lot like, ‘Oh, it’s not a problem.’” said Chief Joseph Dooley of the Southern Police Department.
“They think they can be there; it’s not their intent to get ticketed. The problem is that it’s not communicated to us that they can park there.” According to Dooley, in order to guarantee not getting ticketed when parking, students should always make sure that they are parking where permitted.
If a UA makes an exception, it still needs to be properly communicated to the campus PD, otherwise they will accidentally fine the people