Park your car legally or feel the wrath of parking services

Sarah Colvin

Parking services is known for ticketing student violators, but there’s more to know about those tickets than they’re expensive.

During the fall and spring semesters, about 300 to 400 tickets a day are given to student violators. The number is higher the first couple weeks of school, said Larry Emling, manager of parking services.

He said last year, parking services wrote about 2,500 tickets the first week.

“The number of tickets written dropped quickly after the first week,” Emling said.

Parking services typically spends the first week or two trying to get everyone moved to their assigned lots, he said.

“Enforcement is a necessity in order to get compliance,” Emling said.

About two or three student enforcement officers work for parking services during the summer, when 300 tickets are given a week, and 25 to 30 work during the fall and spring semesters, he said.

For the fall and spring semesters, $6,000 is made in a day if tickets are $15 and $20,000 is made in a day if tickets are $50, Emling said.

The first week of school, $37,500 is made in a day if tickets are $15, he said.

Tickets are not given out to make students pay a great deal of money, but rather to prevent students from parking illegally, he said.

“Parking tickets are not meant to be expensive, they are meant to be a deterrent,” he said.

Emling said the majority of first-ticket offenses are voided, except if someone parks in a handicap area, fire lane or by a fire hydrant.

He said parking services “has a liberal first offense void policy, but it’s not guaranteed that the first ticket will be voided, but the majority of the time we try to use that as an educational opportunity to make sure people are aware of the parking policies.”

Most students think parking tickets are cleared from their account after each semester, but the tickets and money continue to add up for a whole year, July to July, said parking services supervisor Loretta Nichols.

Parking tickets can be contested online by writing parking services an e-mail.

During the regular school year, 15 to 20 e-mails to appeal tickets are sent a day to parking services, Nichols said.

She said it’s interesting to read all of the excuses and stories students write to try and get out of paying parking ticket fees.

Some students use an illness as an excuse for parking illegally or they explain that their cell phone malfunctioned and didn’t alert them to the fact it was time to put more change in a parking meter, Nichols said.

The money from the parking tickets covers all of parking services expenses whether for payroll or for any equipment they have, Emling said.

“Parking services is auxiliary, which means we have to be self-supporting,” Emling said. “Last year’s operating budget for parking services was about $3.8 million.”

He said the money also goes toward improving parking lots, widening roads and installing the blue light emergency phones on campus.

“We are looking at the big picture when we try to make these improvements of transportation and parking on campus,” Emling said.

He said parking services is still paying off some debt from other projects, such as the Midway lot.

Parking services checks parking lots at different times during the day, so there are no set times, Emling said.

During the school year, he said 8 a.m. is the prime time parking services checks for violators. By 4 p.m., he said most of the parking lots become non-restricted, meaning all permits for the most part are allowed to park anywhere, and not many tickets are given out at that time.

Parking tickets are mainly issued to the R7 Bowman lot, he said.

He said more violators are found parking in restricted lots because they are closer to the buildings.

If parking ticket fines aren’t paid, faculty can’t renew their permits.

There are also consequences for students who don’t pay.

“Students can graduate, but if they have an unpaid balance to the bursar’s office – and that can be from parking, library fines or any unpaid fees – there will be a hold placed on their transcripts (until they pay their fees),” Emling said. “If you’re applying for a job, you need transcripts.

“By our presence, we can keep people where they’re supposed to be, that’s one of our goals,” he said.

Contact buildings and transportation reporter Sarah Colvin at [email protected].


Parking meters are a convenience for students on campus, but once in a while, they eat students’ change or don’t work properly.

Parking meters do eat students’ change, but only occasionally, said Larry Emling, manager of parking services

“Out of the 350-plus (meters) we have, we probably end up repairing five to eight a day,” he said.

Emling said he gets some complaints from students about the meters eating their change, but with the large number of meters on campus, the number of complaints is relatively small.

A person tampering with the meters is more common than a malfunction on the meter, he said.

Parking services monitors the meters often to check if they are working properly and to collect the money from the meters, Emling said.

The money is collected from the meters by using big meter bags, and then the money is divided by machines in the bursar’s office, said Loretta Nichols, supervisor of parking services.

“We have hands-on contact with the meters probably every 48 to 72 hours at the most,” Emling said.

He said students can contact the parking services dispatcher at (330) 672-4444 if their parking meter doesn’t work properly or if it takes change but gives no time.

Parking Services will check the meters for problems, and if there is one, parking services will add the maximum time to the meter as a courtesy to the student, Emling said.

“Parking Services is constantly monitoring them trying to make sure they’re up and running because that’s a service we’re trying to provide,” Emling said.

– Sarah Colvin