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SG wants appeals to be heard by students

USF Parking and Transportation Services in conjunction with Student Government is working on changing the parking citation appeals process. Mike Griffin, student body president, proposed the idea for a change in the appeals process during the summer of 2001, said Dustin Sachs, chief justice for the SG Supreme Court.

The change in the appeals process is not really a change in the process so much as it is a change in the personnel that oversees the appeals process. The current University Appeals Committee consists of faculty, staff and students.

Griffin and Sachs want the committee to be comprised entirely of students.

“I think students are going to start to take more responsibility for their actions because they’re going to be judged by their peers,” Sachs said.

The current appeals procedure is done either online or in writing. The appeal must be filed within 14 days of receiving a citation. The online process, which is the most frequently used form of appeal appeal, is done by filling out and submitting a form electronically. The written form must be picked up and dropped off at the Parking and Transportation Services Building.

After the proper form is filled out, the student will then be sent a decision from the appeal mediator, via the mail, in a few weeks. If the student wishes to appeal this decision, he or she may petition a review of the citation by the University Appeals Committee within 14 days of the appeal decision. The decision of the University Appeals Committee is based on parking rules and regulations. This final appeal can be filed electronically, in writing or can be presented to the committee in person.

Sachs believes that with an all-student appeals committee, students will have a much quicker response time on their appeals.

“Instead of waiting two or three months, (students are) going to wait maybe a month to hear their (students) appeals,” Sachs said.

Though this changing of the guard may seem beneficial, it has not yet been implemented. There is no indication that the plan will meet any serious resistance from Parking and Transportation Services.

If implemented, the appeals process, as well as the parking and traffic rules, will remain the same.

“I don’t see that it will be any different as far as the way it (appeals process) is done,” said Greg Sylvester, director for Parking and Transportation Services. “The only difference will be that the student appeals will go through the student judicial body.”

Moreover, the student body will have to judge appeals in the same fashion as before. The student committee will only be able to award appeals if extenuating circumstances have occurred. And it will not be able to make arbitrary decisions concerning the appeals process.

The student judicial body has not yet taken over the appeals committee. And the Parking and Transportation Service has not yet established a date for implementation of the committee change.

The change has not been placed into effect because Parking and Transportation Services wants to make sure that the procedures will be thorough and fair.

“I just want to make sure it (new appeals committee) is being done right,” Sylvester said.

For more information concerning the current appeals process, look up the Parking and Transportation Services Web site at