Check your windshield; if you’ve received a yellow envelope under your windshield wipers at some point in your college career, you’re not alone.
Many of these students have responsibly handled the citation given to them in fear of further consequence, while others neglect to take proper action and complain that the university is unable to accommodate the number of students it has.
While it is easy to blame the lack of accessible parking spots on the overflow admittance of students and seemingly endless construction, Facility and Property Oversight executive director Tammy Millican said there are plenty of parking spots on campus to accommodate all students, but the matter lies in convenience.
“There are more than enough spaces for all the students,” Millican said. “Again, it comes down to convenience.”
Whether it is from parking in the wrong zone to avoid being late to class or simply visiting a friend in their dorm before 4:30 p.m., University Parking and Transportation Services control officers have issued numerous citations.
Approximately 9,300 citations have been issued in 2019 so far, with 7,784 left to be paid after all special requests to reduce fees and considerations have been made by the student or faculty courts of appeals. Of those still found guilty of violating University parking rules and regulations, only about 65% have been properly taken care of and paid, according to Millican.
This leaves 35% of citations left unpaid. If a student does not pay a citation, it is added to their fee bill and must be paid to receive final grades and register for classes the following semester. If these responsibilities continue to be neglected throughout a student’s college career, they will not be able to graduate until the fees are paid.
“When you graduate, if you owe any fees to the University, you don’t get your degree,” Millican said, “so, you have to make sure that you take care of all fees, including parking citations.”
While these regulations are reported to be strictly enforced, it seems as though some students are still able to schedule their classes and even graduate in debt to the University.
Kinesiology graduate Megan Raftery said that she had received more than three parking tickets during her college career and was able to graduate without any consequences.
“I went to LSU for three and a half years, and I threw away at least three parking tickets, if not more,” Raftery said. “I had no problems or consequences for never paying them and had no trouble graduating.”
As Raftery’s ability to graduate unscathed is considered a rare situation, Parking and Transportation Services seeks to decrease the number of students who neglect to pay for parking citations by creating future programs that will not be as financially strenuous on students. The first launch of this type of program will hopefully be implemented later this semester.
Due to a generous grace period implemented by Parking and Transportation Services, no tickets or towing will be issued for this semester until Sept. 6.