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.

Park it at UMF

Park it at UMF

Colin Harris Contributing Writer

    Parking has been a long held complaint of many UMF students of all years, from freshman who dread the long walks from the parking lots by Prescott fields and behind the FRC to commuting upperclassmen who can never seem to find a spot. Another grievance is the sight of a parking ticket on the windshield. Annually, UMF collects roughly between $40,000 to $50,000 in parking-related expenses, including parking tickets, decals, and fines. 

    Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Brock Caton said in an email interview “I do not handle the finances for the University so I don’t know the specifics, but I do know that some of the revenue does support the UMF infrastructure to improve and maintain the parking lots on campus, including annual maintenance.” Such maintenance includes fixing the lots, painting lines, lighting and signage, among other things.

    Caton has been working for the department of public safety since October of 2012. He was originally hired as the Police Sergeant before taking over as the Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police in July of 2013.

    To avoid parking fees, Caton advises UMF students, as well as community members, to obtain a parking decal at the beginning of each year, to read the Parking Policy Brochure given out when given a parking decal, which is also available at Public Safety office located near the FRC, and to familiarize themselves with the parking lots around campus. 

Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police, Brock Caton. Photo Courtesy of UMF Website.

    Amy Hodge, a first-year student here at UMF has obtained numerous parking tickets in just their first semester of college. “As of right now I currently have four parking tickets from being here since fall semester.” 

    Hodge attributes these violations to parking in lots that were not designated to her. “Most, if not all, of the tickets I’ve gotten were from lot 7 [located between Scott Hall and Old South Congregational Church],” Hodge said. With this many tickets, Hodge has had to pay over $50 in parking fees so far. 

      “Parking ticket costs increase each time a ticket is issued,” Caton said. “First offense is $10 per violation. Second offense is $15 per violation. Third and subsequent offenses are $25 per violation.” It is important to note that a UMF community member can receive multiple violations per ticket.

    “Parking tickets not paid within 10 business days are assessed a $10 late fee, and the parking ticket is placed on the student’s account, which may create a hold on the account until paid,” Caton said.

    First-year students at UMF are assigned parking lots P18, located near Prescott Athletic Fields, P21 near Alice James Books, P22 which is next to P21 and P26 which is behind the FRC.

    Other repeat offenders of these parking rules include guests. Guests that plan on staying at UMF overnight or late at night need to obtain a guest parking decal. Caton said, “Guest parking decals are free and are good for 48 hours.” 

    The UMF parking brochure states that the objective of parking at UMF is, “to maximize the use of parking facilities so it is necessary to establish and enforce policies governing motor vehicles operating and/or parking on campus.