Editor discusses MLK parking tickets
Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01
Some say no good deed goes unnoticed. Tinesha Mix, Opinions Editor took a different spin on the saying on her Facebook timeline, “Go out to do a day of community service and come back to a $40 parking ticket. I guess it’s true when they say, ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’”
Two Pine Log editors, Tinesha and I, received $40 parking tickets on MLK Day while participating in MLK Day Of Service. Like the more than 20 students who were issued tickets, I assumed the holiday was part of the weekend and therefore the parking around the student center—where the service project started—was fair game.
I was on board with other complaining students who felt that no one should be punished during a day of service. Over 300 students participated in community service around Nacogdoches and at least 20 of those students were ticketed in what appeared to be an hour-long ticketing tirade.
It’s almost like the ticketing officers were waiting for MLK Day of service to start. One of the editors got their ticket at 9:18am on Aikman Drive and the other at the south end of Vista Drive at 9:45am. The event started at 9am. After writing ticket after ticket, after ticket at some point the officer should have realized that students saw nothing wrong with parking in faculty/staff parking on a long weekend.
The officer could have stopped ticketing after a few tickets and even revoked the previous tickets. The whole thing just got out of hand and made for an unpleasant undertone to MLK Day of Service. I can only hope that this won’t hinder participation next year.
Even after researching parking and traffic rules, I still wonder why certain holidays are no-ticket-days and others aren’t. The whole situation was quite frustrating at the time but after extremely quick communication among the ticketing office, Student Government Association and the event coordinators, I let out a sigh of relief when I found out our tickets could easily be dismissed.
Or so I was lead to believe. I read an email that said all I had to do was file an appeal for my ticket and they would check the MLK Day of Service list and likely approve my appeal, taking off the charges.
I went into the parking and traffic office and told them I needed to take care of my MLK day ticket. The worker asked for my student ID number and after typing it in told me it looks like it has already been taken care of. I happily left my ticket on the desk and as I was leaving the worker asked if I wanted to keep it. I thought that was silly because I had been told that it was already taken care of. They said they would shred it.
At that point I was pleased with how well the different departments had communicated and how quickly the debacle was handled. A couple days later I looked at my ebill to make sure the ticket hadn’t been charged to my account. Sure enough, I still had a $40 ticket on my account with no sign of refund or cancellation.
Back to the parking and traffic office I went to inquire why my ticket hadn’t been “taken care of “ like I was told it had been. After I explained my situation again they had me fill out an appeal and turn it in. Of course the appeal form asks for your ticket number, which I no longer had since my ticket had been shredded.
As I’m sure you can imagine, I was quite frustrated yet again.
Not even 5 minutes after leaving the office I received an email (to my phone), the same one I had seen from one of my friends who appealed, notifying me that my ticket had been changed to a warning and the charges were taken off. Since then my ebill has been refunded $40. At last.
I still think it’s ridiculous that tickets were even being issued. It was still the weekend! Not only that, but wasn’t it obvious what all the students were doing parking in faculty/staff parking on a holiday?
And the other issue of course is the fact that I was told my ticket was handled, which it was not until I made a second trip to the office.
So the fact that I was even issued a ticket in the first place, along with a couple dozen other students is silly. Then to add insult to injury I thought I had done what I needed to do to have the $40 removed, and luckily caught that it wasn’t before my ten days to appeal had expired.
Tomorrow is the 10th day, the last day to file and appeal a ticket from MLK Day of Service. Take a few minutes to walk over there and appeal your ticket if you have one because they did not deserve to make that much money off of so many students in what I see as a completely unjust hour-long ticketing tirade.