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Parking Committee seeks membership

October 14, 2011

The parking committee that gives out thousands of tickets and views hundreds of appeals per year is currently looking for members to fill open positions.

The Student Senate is looking for members to fill the parking committee. The committee consists of seven members. Members include: one faculty member, one academic staff, one classified staff, one person from Student Senate, one student from a residence hall, one commuter student and one student at-large.

Jayne Dalton from Student Senate said that they are currently accepting applications for this committee, and forms can be found on the Student Senate Orgsync page which is located on the UW-River Falls website. Positions currently available are: one commuter student, one residential hall student and one student at-large.

The parking committee meets once a month during the academic school year, according to chair of the parking committee, Wendy Penny. The committee hears and rules on proposed appeals. Penny said around 8000 tickets are given out each year and an average of 50 appeals are heard a month.

Dalton and Penny both said one of the most surprising aspects of reading the appeals is the lack of good grammar. Penny said there are a few excuses that are often heard.

“The most common excuses are that they didn’t know the rules, I was only there for a couple minutes, I saw somebody else do it,” Penny said.

Jesse Walters, a senior, said he received around 12 parking tickets his freshmen year. Walters said he was given tickets for parking in a fire lane while unloading things into his dorm, parking in a lot without a pass, and once parked at the W-lot where there was no sign saying where the parking ended, and his wheel was touching the grass. Walters didn’t appeal any of his tickets; he said that was too much work.

Penny gave a few examples of appeals that were denied, many having to do with parking in the fire lane.

“I parked my car for a few minutes to go into the residence life office to drop off a sheet and I put my blinks on, but honestly forget it was a fire lane. I really did put my blinks on but only for a few minutes and when I got out I saw them putting a ticket on my car,” is a customer appeal from the records of parking appeals.

Another appeal with parking in a fire lane has to do with someone who had a broken foot and parked in the fire lane outside his or her dorm. They said they thought it would be OK for them to park there since they had a broken foot.

“I was just walking up to my car that was parked at the meters when the parking enforcement personnel had just put the ticket on my windshield. I was just barely past the time on the meter,” is another customer appeal from the records.

Penny said the committee is currently behind on hearing appeals due to the lack of members.