There’s ample parking at Ferris State University, just not where students want it.
With 7,525 parking spaces on Ferris’ main campus, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) guarantees that when you pay $100 for an annual parking pass, you’ll have a spot.
Yet thousands of students each semester decide to risk it and park on campus without permits or in the wrong parking lots. DPS has issued 7,660 parking citations since July 2015.
Ferris nuclear medicine junior Meredith Hague admits she didn’t want to spend the money on a parking permit because she lives close to campus.
“Maybe there is enough parking but it’s not conveniently located,” Hague said. “People will come park in my driveway for class. One time I saw a random guy do it and I had to yell at him.”
Hague said it’s also not uncommon for students to leave their cars at nearby businesses while in class if there is no available meter parking.
“We have to enforce parking strictly,” said DPS Director Bruce Borkovich. “No one enjoys it, but it has to be done so that when you buy a parking permit, it’s our promise you’ll have a place to park.”
With the average ticket costing students between $10 and $20, the thousands of tickets issued each semester add up. During the 2014/2015 academic year, DPS reports collecting $230,166 in revenue.
According to Student Government director of operations Chris Cipko, several students have approached Student Government about finding alternatives to Ferris’ current parking system.
“A lot of students I talk to say they wish there was better parking,” said Cipko, a senior in healthcare administration. “If I have a class in the morning, I can usually find a spot. But at lunch time, it can be a difficult task. Any campus you go to, there’s going to be a parking issue.”
Borkovich, who attended Michigan State University and taught at Central Michigan University before coming to Ferris, agrees parking can be difficult at any large institution.
“I don’t know if I’ve been to a university where people don’t complain about parking,” he said.
According to Borkovich, most parking tickets are issued by student service officers employed by DPS. Ticket revenues are added to Ferris’ general fund and then allocated to DPS’s operating budget.
For more information on parking at Ferris or to pay a ticket online, visit ferris.edu/HTMLS/othersrv/campussafety.
Parking Citations and Revenue
2012-2013 – 2,477 citations, $216,669 collected
2013-2014 – 4,130 citations, $244,453 collected
2014-2015 – 3,377 citations, $230,166 collected
Through December 2015 – 7,660
Resident students – 2,506
Commuter – 2,009
Faculty/Staff – 1,370
Student apartment – 743
Katke Golf Course – 353
Handicap – 209
Meter – 207
Birkam Health Center – 53
Racquet Facility – 42
Customer Parking – 9
Total – 7,525
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported the Ferris Department of Public Safety collects more than $1 million in revenue from parking tickets each year. The figure actually refers to department revenue including the sale of parking permits. DPS collected $230,166 for parking tickets for the 2014/2015 academic year.