Students could possibly avoid their first parking citation fee through a class offered by the Student Government (SG) Judicial Branch this upcoming fall semester.
SG Chief Justice Cameron Valdez is working on implementing an educational class option that will seek to inform students on the parking rules and regulations on campus. This class would take the place of the standard fine students typically pay when they get a parking citation.
While the class is intended to give students a general grasp on where to park and where not to park, Valdez said he hopes the class will keep students from acquiring any additional parking violation fees.
According to Valdez, the concept of this upcoming citation option came from the former chief justice, Milton Llinas. Valdez said Llinas came up with the idea last year while in office and Valdez decided to push it forward.
With collaboration from Parking and Transportation Services (PATS), Valdez said the one-hour class will include a presentation that’s directed by PATS and a test that students will need to pass with at least an 80 percent.
“Someone from Parking and Transportation services will give a presentation about all the parking rules and regulations, and then you have to take a 10 question or 20 question multiple choice test,” Valdez said.
Students don’t have to pay once they pass the test, but if a student doesn’t pass with an 80 or more, they would either have to go through the appeals process or just pay the citation amount given to them which is usually $30. This test can only be taken once.
Valdez said the test will be an easy pass if students are attentive during the one-hour presentation.
According to Valdez, PATS will serve to primarily educate students on parking in the right places, and that includes informing them on the empty lots and garages they could park in if they don’t find a space.
“People say there isn’t parking on campus, but there are certain areas on campus where there’s parking available,” Valdez said. “So, they’ll teach you that stuff as well.”
Assistant director for administrative services, Aaron Nichols, said in an email that the class option will be a joint effort between PATS and SG.
“PATS will contribute the space and content for the class,” Nichols wrote. “PATS and Student Government will co-facilitate the class (budgeted by time provided by each).”
Paola Delpin, a senior majoring in criminology, said the option for a parking class would have been great at the time she got her first citation. As a busy college student who lives on a budget, Deplin said she would have dodged the $30 fee if she had the chance to attend the class.
Greeshma James, a senior majoring in biomedical science, said she would most likely pick the parking class if faced with a parking ticket. Though she’s a busy student, James said listening to a one-hour presentation is not extreme.
While having an option when faced with your first parking ticket is convenient, Valdez said the execution of this class was supposed to be for the spring, but certain technological issues have caused delays.
“From what I’ve been told, they have a new IT person and they’re having some issues implementing it into their website software,” Valdez said. “The goal is to have it started by fall.”
Once the technological issues are fixed, Valdez said sign up for the class will be appear in a drop-down menu students usually see when they want to appeal a parking citation.
Besides avoiding a fee, Valdez said the parking option is an opportunity for students to interact with PATS.
“A lot of students think parking is out to make money off them,” Valdez said. “But, having worked with them really closely and watching them bend over backwards for students who have reached out to them, I can definitely tell you that’s not the case.”
There aren’t many details about the funding amount for the parking class, but Valdez said the funds will not be pulled from Activity & Services fees.
“I’m assuming PATS is paying for everything, we haven’t requested any funding for any of it.” Valdez said. “Once, we get confirmation on when it’s for sure going to start, marketing will start to appear across the campus.”