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Parking appeals now under SGA

As construction across campus limits available parking spaces, Campus Safety continues to distribute parking tickets. With each ticket usually comes an appeal, which will now be handled by a Student Government Association-sponsored student parking committee.

Parking tickets issued on campus are abundant, with an average of 250 to 300 tickets issued each month. With multiple construction projects severely decreasing the number of student-reserved parking spaces on campus, it appears that this number may only rise. Many individuals have found themselves parking in prohibited areas to avoid endlessly circling campus with the hope of finding a spot. 

Of the mass amount of tickets issued, many are appealed. Ken Miller, assistant vice president of public safety, said that “about 50 percent of all citations [tickets] are appealed for various reasons.”

Of those appeals filed, roughly 30 to 40 percent will be granted and the citation will be reduced to a warning, said Miller. 

When appeals aren’t granted, many students end up footing the bill. Tickets range from $30 to $110 in cost depending on the severity of the infraction and the amount of time the person waits to pay it. 

Some students are shocked by the price of the tickets. Emilia Castillo (‘21) said that she has received a ticket on two occasions for parking in a spot that Campus Safety claimed was reserved for faculty and staff, but she said there were no signs. “I think it’s ridiculous to charge $50 per ticket, especially for your very first ticket,” Castillo said. “I would understand if it worked up to $50, but I don’t think it should start that high.” 

Blocked off parking spots on campus leave students, faculty, and staff searching for spaces. (Caitlin Richard / Staff Photographer)

Other students are worried about the construction. “The construction causes overall chaos. I appreciate the work that Campus Safety has done to try and make parking available, but clearly it’s still an issue that is affecting everyday life at Rollins for both students and faculty. I just think there could have been a better approach,” said Patrick Rhinehart (‘19). 

With the new student parking committee established, Samuel Alvarez (‘21), one of the new members, offered insight into the appeal process. “Once the offender has placed the appeal, the committee will convene and review all the included information in the appeal. That can include photos, descriptions of the event, or maps that the student might include to advance their appeal.”

“We also have access to the students parking record with Campus Safety and can investigate whether this is their first infraction or their fifth, which plays a role in the decision the committee might make,” said Alvarez.

The committee meets once a week for approximately 40 minutes to review appeals that were submitted that week. Appeals must be filed within 14 days of being issued, and the appeal form may be downloaded off of the Rollins website or filled out at the Campus Safety office.

Its members consists of five SGA senators. For this school year, the members are Samuel Alvarez (‘21), Maximiliano Castrillon (‘19), Jessica Gonzalez (‘21), Caroline Powell (‘21), and Bridget Gorman (‘21). 

Requirements to serve on the panel are simple: have a positive judicial and parking record in order to provide an unbiased opinion. The selected members of the committee were already involved with the SGA senate and showed a strong interest in resolving parking issues. 

“This is an important opportunity to me,” said Gonzalez. “It allows students to be a part of the appealing process, and hold each other accountable. However, since we are students, we also understand and relate to the difficulties of parking, and take that into consideration.” 

The goal of the committee is to increase student involvement in campus offices while allowing students to be advocates for concerns that are passionate to them. With the addition of the Student Parking Committee, Campus Safety will no longer be the judge and the jury when it comes to parking infractions.

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