Many students on campus can easily relate to Mariah Kennedy and the situation she faces on an everyday basis.
Kennedy, Ferris senior in journalism and technical professional communication and commuter student, often finds herself cutting it close to get to class on time each day. According to her, the reason is parking.
“Let’s just say I risk getting a parking ticket every day,” Kennedy said.
Like Kennedy, many students choose to take the risk of a ticket. However, according to Ferris State University Department of Public Safety Officer Michael Chamberlain, there are many ways to avoid getting a parking ticket.
Some of them include registering each vehicle used, parking in assigned lots and keeping a positive attitude “as a person can walk on campus faster than they could drive to an area and get to class.”
Department of Public Safety Office Supervisor June Swanson explained that it’s not about making money, it’s about creating a safe environment. Giving students, staff and faculty parking citations is not the goal.
“We could care to give another ticket out,” Swanson said. “It’s our goal to educate everyone parking on university property. With that being said, we are tasked with protecting a resource that individuals pay for and are often called to specific locations where violations are occurring.”
The top three reasons for a parking citation are meter violations, unregistered vehicles and parking in restricted areas.
According to statistics and information maintained by DPS, the number of parking tickets given has decreased this school year in comparison to previous years.
From July 2011 through June 2012, there was just over $304,000 collected in parking fines and 13,291 citations issued, which was 1,289 citations fewer than the previous year and 1,938 citations fewer than two years ago.
Currently, an average amount of money received each week for parking citations is $5,852 over 52 weeks. However, this amount varies with the time of year.
The revenue collected from parking citations is put into the general fund for the university operating expenses, which includes but is not limited to lot maintenance. According to Swanson, the money is subject to the university’s budget process and is not dedicated exclusively to DPS.
“I would recommend anyone parking on the university property to take a couple of minutes and read the Rules and Regulations along with our ‘Did you know’ frequently asked questions flyer,” Swanson said.
These materials are available on the Ferris State University DPS website. If students have questions or concerns about parking, Swanson encourages them to visit DPS, which is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.