Caitlyn Bonasia – Staff Writer
Have you ever walked outside of class or your dorm and immediately saw a ticket laying on your windshield? If so, you are not alone. In 2017, Campus Police issued 3,176 tickets to students, faculty, staff and College visitors, according to Chief Steven Carl.
While parking violators blame Campus Police for their tickets, Chief Carl said his team is not at fault.
“Campus Police does not make the rules on the campus, they regulate the rules that the College puts in place,” he explained. The Chief wants it to be known that although when they ticket people it can come across as if they are giving people a hard time, it really is because they want the College to be as safe as possible. For example, students and faculty are not just parking in spots that are not in their designated parking areas; some park in fire lanes and handicapped spots.
Chief Carl emphasized that if an individual has to second-guess his or her parking choice, he or she probably should not park there.
“People that park in handicap parking that are not disabled create a life-changing experience for the disabled to get where they need to go,” explained Chief Carl. “It is truly a safety issue… people who want to engage in such behavior roll the dice for their own convenience and Campus Police will issue a violation.”
Throughout his years at Assumption, Jose Palomino ’19 has been ticketed 15 to 20 times. All of the violations were for parking in a lot that was not his designated parking lot.
“I believe that if I pay to park on campus, I should be able to park anywhere without getting fined,” explained Palomino.
Chief Carl said that on campus, there are a specific number of designated parking spots for all students, faulty, staff and visitors. “The spot might not be the space you want in the parking lot that you want; however there is a spot for everyone,” he said.
Though the Chief understands that those who are ticketed become upset and frustrated with the amount of tickets they receive in a semester, Campus Police is writing those tickets for a reason—safety–even if that means upsetting people that live on campus or come to campus daily.
There is an option for reducing the number of fines members of the College community incur for violating parking policies.
Each semester Campus Police offers violators an opportunity to give back to the community in lieu of paying a parking ticket fine. In December, the Tickets for Tots event invites violators to donate a toy to Toys for Tots for each ticket and during the spring, violators can donate to Tickets for Troops, making a cash donation to support veterans in need as an alternative for paying a ticket.
Chief Carl and the rest of Campus Police have noticed that parking violators would rather give back to the community instead of paying for their own ticket. Palomino explained, “Since the violations were my fault, and $25 a ticket adds up quickly, I would rather give back to a charity.”
Chief Carl added that the amount of parking tickets will decrease once the Campus population understands there is a spot for every person that has a car, though it might not be the spot they prefer to park in. “Campus Police does not enjoy ticketing people,” the Chief said. ”It is not malicious; it is for safety purposes. Safety over everything.”