Students claim excessive parking ticket offenses

Each ticket has the marked off violation and how much the student owes to amend the ticket.

Ashland University students push back against Safety Service due to a recent increase in parking tickets given out campus-wide.

Dave McLaughlin, director of Safety Services, believes the answer for this problem is to just follow the rules and be knowledgeable of where you are allowed to park your car on campus.

“I don’t know what more we can do other than just not letting them have a car on campus and we don’t want to do that because some people have jobs… but people don’t need their car to drive across campus and that’s when we mostly have trouble,” McLaughlin said. “The majority of parking tickets written out are people who park in the wrong spot on campus or they might just not have their vehicle registered.”

The parking tickets have increased to $50 per offense based off of the standard $25 each offense.

The reason for that is McLaughlin said “students just don’t care” and hopes that these offenses are taken a little more seriously with the increase of the fine.

“To students, $25 just doesn’t make an impact and we hope that a $50 fine does. It is not like we want to generate income from tickets [since] this department doesn’t get a dime from this, it goes to the general funds. We are just hoping that this makes them want to follow the rules,” he added.

Some students believe that there is a motive for the “excessive” parking tickets around campus.

Sophomore Claudia Adcock questions the price jump with parking tickets and thinks it is “bizarre and unnecessary” for the price of the fine to be half the cost of the parking pass.

“I definitely think the university is trying to take advantage of the parking tickets by turning it into revenue,” Adcock said. “They are making it difficult for everyone when there really is an easier way to go about this.”

For commuters, the parking issue has been a cause for concern.

Kristen Crider is a commuter who has had trouble finding parking on campus. She recently was ticketed for parking in parking lot C, although she believed she was allowed to park there.

Lot C implemented a row of parking for commuters in the fall 2022 semester. Crider was unaware since the campus map listed Lot C as a commuter lot, but never specified the limitations.

Crider was given a parking ticket, which she appealed explaining that she didn’t know she was not allowed accessibility throughout the whole Lot C, just limited to one row for commuters. She ended up winning her appeal and did not get charged for the ticket.

She added that after her ticket, she had to ask around to find out that there is only a single row of parking for commuters.

“I think the solution is to have lots that are all commuter spots or no commuter spots. By having them scattered around and only certain spots available makes it very confusing for students. I have also heard of other colleges giving students a notice, then charging for each additional ticket. $50 right off is extreme in my opinion and feels like they are robbing students who are trying to save every penny to afford tuition,” Crider said.

“I understand repeated tickets have become an issue, but in mine and many other cases, it was a misunderstanding of where we are allowed to park,”

Crider added that she believes the frequency of tickets will decrease, she still thinks Safety Services will be out at 7a.m to 3 p.m. ticketing and has the feeling that “they are out to get us.”

McLaughlin assured that the last thing Safety Services does is that it is “out to take money from students.

“Out of all the things we are doing, we’d love to be available to respond to calls and be an assistance to some people rather than writing parking tickets. We just have to do this until students learn to abide by the rules,” McLaughlin said.

Adcock and Crider both agree that this situation is a “mess” and that the university could do a better job with listing parking lots students specifically can and cannot park in on campus. Adcock and Crider hope there is a student-friendly solution to the situation.

“I know a lot of students that avoid getting a parking pass and just park on the streets as a commuter going to classes. I know I will be doing that next year,” Crider said.