By GREG JONES
According to the Assistant Vice President of Business Services and CPO, Erma Baker, there has been a drastic increase in the number of parking tickets given this year.
Since the beginning of the fall 2012 semester there have been 1,376 tickets given from the University of Mary Washington Parking Management, which is a 556 increase from the 820 tickets given in the fall 2011 semester.
The increase in tickets is due to parking management having been understaffed last year, according to Parking Management Supervisor Robin Jones.
“There was only one person enforcing parking citations last year,” said Jones. “It’s almost impossible to find every non-decal car.”
Baker discussed the high amount of complaints she received in the fall semester of 2011 regarding inconsistency of parking violations.
“UMW established a student enforcement program to provide additional labor needed for adequate foot patrol of parking areas,” said Baker.
Senior business major Monique dela Cruz commented on how aggravating tickets can be for a student.
“I think the parking guidelines aren’t clear, there should also be set hours for ticketing,” said dela Cruz. “Two of my tickets were at 7:30 a.m. in the Jepson parking lot from when I went to the gym.”
With only two student aides parking management is working to hire a third aide to the UMW student enforcement program, according to Jones.
“The student enforcement program did not begin until late into [the] fall 2011 semester,” said Baker. “In Fall 2012, we began the year fully staffed with the student enforcement program already established.”
The Parking Management department started a student parking management committee, where students can voice their opinion on what needs to be done in order to improve Parking Management services.
“There are currently four students on the committee board,” said Jones. “We are welcoming to all UMW students, and we encourage students to join.”
In the fall 2011 semester, there were 171 attempted appeals, but 65 of the appeals were successful. In the fall 2012 semester, there were 198 attempted appeals with 83 successful appeals, according to Jones.
“So far for the fall 2012 semester, the total amount of revenue raised from tickets sum up to $51,650, an increase from last year’s fall semester revenue of $26,725,” said Jones.
Junior international affairs major Marjahn Goodman thinks the prices for tickets are too high, especially for college students.
“They should reduce the ticket prices and clearly note policies on the street,” said Goodman. “The university probably makes a lot of money from tickets.”
Administrative Assistant of University Relations and Communications Christie Pugh elaborated on where the revenue goes from the payments of all the tickets.
“Revenue from parking violations is added to the Comprehensive Fee Budget,” said Pugh. “This includes things like parking lot maintenance, some general operating cost associated with parking operations and debt service on the parking deck.”
Jones stressed the significance of having a decal in order to avoid getting ticketed.
“All UMW students who own a vehicle on or off campus must have a decal,” said Jones. “This includes faculty and staff.”
To purchase a parking decal, students must use the banner self-service tab in Eaglenet and select the parking management option, according to Jones.
Decals will be delivered to the student’s UMW mailbox and, until it arrives, a temporary dash pass may be printed out. This information can also be viewed on the UMW website.