In 2008, the University of Richmond ticketed 11,633 illegally parked cars and collected on roughly half of these tickets -- more than $175,000 based on the minimum citation fine.
Some students acquired more than their fair share of tickets -- and they aren't happy about it.
Marcellies Pettiford Jr., a junior and Richmond College Student Government Association senator, said he thought parking regulations were too strictly enforced. Parking services instructed Pettiford to move his red 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee off campus three weeks ago, after he had accumulated more than $1,000 in parking tickets, he said.
"I think that's ridiculous that they made me remove my car from campus, because I'm paying [my tickets]," he said. "I'm basically contributing to campus."
Parking services reserves the right to restrict students' parking if they accumulate an excessive number of tickets and show a blatant disregard for the rules, said Natalia Green, director of parking services.
"No one really needs to spend over $1,000 in parking tickets," she said. "I mean that's just throwing money to the wind."
Parking citation fines range from $30 to $100, and additional penalties are added if a car has been cited more than five times per semester.
These fines do not provide a set revenue stream, said Jennifer Sauer, associate vice president of parking spaces and controller.
Like alcohol and safety fines, parking fines are meant to deter certain actions, she said.
Green echoed the same sentiments.
"I've never, in the years I've been here, been told, 'You have to bring in "x" amount of money,'" she said. "Basically, if you come across an illegally parked car, you write [a ticket]."
Parking enforcement specialists and university police gave out roughly 13,000 citations in 2007, and 11,633 citations in 2008.
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These numbers include tickets given to students, faculty, staff and visitors, Green said.
Many of these citations were given out at the beginning of the academic year, Green said, when students had not registered their cars or weren't familiar with parking regulations. Parking services usually voids these tickets and gives the offender a warning, Green said.
The Appeal Board revoked some of these citations, but the exact numbers are unknown, Green said. The Appeal Board is composed of student, faculty and staff representatives, and meets every other week, Green said. The board grants or warns about two-thirds of appeals and denies the other third, she said.
Pettiford used to sit on the board as the RCSGA representative. The board was lenient with first time offenders who made it clear that they had not known the rules, he said. The members had also been considerate of unusual circumstances based on the offender's record, he said.
"You know, one guy said he had to use the restroom really badly, so he parked outside of a building and ran inside," Pettiford said. "[We considered] things of that nature."
Austin McKissock, another Richmond College junior and senator, is the current RCSGA representative on the Appeal Board.
There is room for improvement in the parking system, he said.
"I'd say the biggest issue is just people knowing and understanding where they can park at what times," he said, adding that the lack of clarity made the parking system complex.
Westhampton senior Alexis Scuderi's silver 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer has been ticketed 33 times during the 2008-09 school year, totaling more than $1,000. She thinks the school should allow students to park in certain lots depending on which school they are in, she said.
"Especially for upperclassmen who live in the apartments, if you're in Jepson or the business school, they should allow you to park in certain areas," she said.
Juniors and seniors living in the University Forest Apartments received an e-mail on Wednesday, March 18, that stated they would no longer be able to park their cars in the commuter lot off of UR Drive between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Too many students living in the apartments had been parking in C-lot during the day and then walking to class, Green said.
Her office received complaints from commuter students, faculty and staff members, and visitors to the university, all of whom had no place to park, she said.
Brendon Clar, a senior commuter student, was often without a place to park.
"It's hard to say that someone who pays for a C-lot sticker can't park in C-lot because it's full of kids with A-lot stickers," he said. "I had like $300 in tickets from parking in front of the apartments because it's labeled an 'A-lot,' but nobody [with an A-lot sticker] was getting tickets for parking in C-lot."
Contact staff writer Guv Callahan at email@example.com
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