Confused about Parking on Campus? The Answers are Here

Confused about Parking on Campus? The Answers are Here

Brock Caton by Sam Shirley.

Brock Caton by Sam Shirley.

By Chelsea Davis, Contributing Writer

    Parking passes are crucial at UMF. In addition to having one, it is important that students and faculty understand parking passes and tickets. The UMF Department of Public Safety gives students and faculty more insight on parking passes and related questions.

   In order to park on campus, every student must have a parking permit. “When students return to campus for a new year and new students arrive they should either be going to the Public Safety office across from the Fitness and Recreation Center to fill out the form to receive a parking pass or preferably fill out our online parking permit application, which is on the MyCampus Homepage under the Student Services and Parking drop down menu and it is forwarded to the Public Safety Administrative Specialist,” said Caton.

    There is also a form that can be filled out if someone wants to appeal their ticket. “The parking ticket appeal form is given to police sergeants Wayne Drake and Marc Bowering for review,” said Caton. “They will decide to accept or deny the appeal and email their decision to the appealing person.” If denied, cash or check payments may be made in person at the Public Safety office, or by mail. 

    The current situation in regards to parking permits and rules causes anxiety for some students. “There are many times when I want to have a friend from back home come visit me here at school,” said Olivia Paradis, a freshman living in Scott South. “I’m nervous they will get a ticket parking their car anywhere on campus.”

    Luckily, Public Safety parking permits for these situations so students can follow the parking policy. “There is a free 48-hour guest parking pass that allows [guests] to park in lots 18, 21, 22 and 26,” said Caton. “We also allow frequent guests the option to purchase a first year student decal for 20 dollars.”

  Regardless, sometimes students still end up in difficult situations parking on campus. “After returning back from winter break, the grocery store, or even from back home, I have a lot of stuff I need to bring into my dorm room,” said Morgan Noyes, a freshman living in Scott South. “I got a ticket for parking in the wrong spot for 10 minutes while unloading my things. I wish there was an unloading area for students.” 

    There are many actions for which a student or faculty member can receive a parking violation. Such transgressions include parking on turf, a reserved area, or a no-parking area, failure to display decal, obstructing a firelane, obstructing snow removal, having an expired decal, and overnight parking, among others. Violators are fined $10 per violation on their first ticket. These fine amounts increase to $15 per violation on their second ticket and $25 per violation on their third and subsequent tickets. The ticket must be paid within 10 business days.

     Financial assistance for parking passes and tickets is possible. “Students that need financial assistance to pay for a parking pass and/or pay for a parking ticket can elect to have the parking decal payment and parking ticket added directly to their Student Account,” Caton said. “Also talking to the employees within the Merrill Center to see if they have other payment options.” 

    UMF’s Parking Policy, ticket appeal form, parking permit application, and more can be found on MyCampus under the Student Services dropdown menu. Campus Police also offers a brochure in the Public Safety office with answers to frequently asked parking questions and a map of the campus detailing where first-year students, resident students, commuters, staff and faculty can park. The Public Safety office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and snow days.

UMF Institutes Temporary Parking Bans

By Caitlin Raye Contributing Writer

It’s that time of year again, when snow is piling up and UMF facilities is working hard to keep the parking lots clear and free of snow for students and faculty.

   Keenan Farwell, Grounds Manager at UMF, leads the facilities crew in charge of snow cleanup and parking lot bans. Facilities tries to clear the parking lots after receiving snowfall of more than 12 inches. They usually plan the parking bans during the school week, but do occasionally have to plan the bans for the weekends.

  During a parking ban, students that have not moved vehicles from the closed lots get a parking ticket. Then they get a call, text, and email from Public Safety to have their vehicle moved, and if they do not move, they are then towed at their expense.

   “We try to not tow but sometimes it is a necessity,” Farwell said.

   Parking bans are done to help access the parking spaces. During the winter, snow builds up from plowing the throughways and makes a large berm in front of the cars, making it difficult to get in and out of the parking spots. Snow removal from lots helps with water build-up and also opens more spots to park.

   Ana Drew, a resident hall CA, agreed that parking bans are important. “Cars start to get stuck if they aren’t cleared completely.”

   Erika Tardif, a junior at UMF, agreed that parking bans are a good idea, but felt they could be handled differently. “I think they should do one lot at a time verses trying to clear four parking lots at a time, moving all those people into one parking lot,” Tardif said.

   “The parking bans are never convenient for everyone, but it is something that is necessary to do to keep our parking lots safe during the winter months,” said Farwell. “We try to give plenty of notice and also plenty of space for the students and faculty to park during the bans.

   Kelsey Brann, a sophomore at UMF, echoed Tardif’s frustration: “I think [parking bans] are inconvenient because we have to find somewhere else to put our cars.”

   Although not everyone agrees that parking bans are convenient, Farwell said that “normally we only have parking bans on student parking lots because most of the staff and faculty lots are closed to overnight parking, so we have a chance to clear the snow from these lots before the cars park in them.”

   Even when students agree that snow removal parking bans are necessary, there is disagreement on how to handle the snow removal. Drew would like to see the parking lot next to Scott Hall cleared more often, whereas Brann would like to see Lot 26 cleared.