By Hannah Wallace
Everyone dreads seeing those bright-colored little slips underneath their windshield wipers.
As HCC students, we all know that can only mean one thing: a parking ticket. That means that the person who received the ticket is paying a fine for parking on the line, backing into the parking spot instead of pulling in, or they don’t have the correct permit to park in that lot.
In order to be able to park in the parking lots at HCC, you need to pick up a parking sticker at the student union.
These stickers allow students to park in the lots without the risk of receiving a ticket. All you need to receive a sticker is a valid tag and a student ID.
The area on campus that sees the most tickets is the heavily used Lockman Hall parking lot.
If students fail to pay a parking ticket, HCC will put a transcript hold on those students’ accounts.
At $5 or more per ticket, depending on the offense, some money is generated in this process.
Profits from the parking tickets go towards the repairs and improvements of the parking lots, according to Cindy Andsager, HCC student billing system manager.
When asked if any students ever protest their tickets, Carole Lambertus, with Student Information said, “Yes, we have students protest their tickets but it’s only one or two students a semester that do.”
Typically, parking ticket appeals are heard by a panel of Student Government Association members.
One faculty member said he once appealed a parking ticket, several years ago, after being ticketed while his car was parked in a no-parking zone right in front of a Lockman Hall entrance, back when you could drive up and park on the east side of the building.
“I had been unloading some things, during the second day of a new semester,” he said.
“Then I forgot the car was parked there and remembered it about 90 minutes later. I had a ticket under the windshield wiper.”
Feeling unjustly injured by the $5 citation, the faculty member took it to the SGA appeals board.
After hearing his poignant tale, the board thanked him and said they would consider his presentation. He was sent out.
The appeal was denied. He paid the ticket.
Parking tickets are a part of the college experience, not only at community colleges, but also at the four-year schools across Kansas and the nation. At the universities, it is not unusual to see wheel locks applied to cars parked illegally; if fines are not paid promptly, the locked cars are towed to impound lots, accruing larger fines in the process.
In comparison, the HCC parking fine system might seem to be downright friendly.
Steven Dunmire, director of HCC campus security, said the parking situation keeps him busy.
“I usually write a book of tickets in one week; each book has 25 tickets,” Dunmire said.
“Last week I wrote four books instead of the usual one.”
When asked how many tickets he writes, Dunmire said it varies, depending on what part of the semester it is.
“On average, the first week I give out a bunch of warnings,” he said. “It isn’t until a couple weeks into the school year that I start giving out tickets.”