Parking and Traffic works with students on MLK Day citations
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 10:01
The SFA Parking and Traffic office is working to address student concerns about parking citations issued on the Martin Luther King Day holiday Monday, Jan. 21. While classes were not in session, over 300 students used the day off to serve the SFA and Nacogdoches communities as a part of the MLK Day of Service, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Leadership and Service office of Student Affairs Programs. After a full day of service, however, many students were surprised to receive citations for parking in Faculty/Staff parking during a student holiday.
The root of the problem was a lack of communication between event coordinators, the Parking and Traffic office and event participants. Jane Wilcox, the director of Parking and Traffic, said that while her office was aware of the event, no special parking arrangements were requested.
“During the event discussions we were told that those attending would park in areas where their permits allowed, or that they could park in the Student Center Parking Garage at the associated hourly rate,” Wilcox said.
For several days after the event, students aired their frustration over social networks and some even contacted the Student Government Association demanding a solution. Several students also filed citation appeals the day after the event, hoping to get the fine waived.
“I don’t understand why so many tickets were given out in the first place, because it’s not like there are 20-plus people parking in the staff parking on any given day. It was a special occasion and the clear understanding from the students who parked there was that it was a holiday and still the weekend,” Jessica Gilligan, a student who participated in MLK Day, said.
While Parking and Traffic is making an exception to its regulations for this one instance, Wilcox offered an explanation to students on why citations were given out on a “holiday.”
“While MLK Day is a holiday for students and faculty, members of the staff do not get a holiday, and their expectation is that they will be able to access parking for which they paid. An official University holiday is when the campus is closed.”
Wilcox also said that due to the parking issues faced during this year’s MLK Day of Service, the event sponsors intend to make parking arrangements for event participants for the 2014 MLK Day of Service.
Once Wilcox’s office was made aware of the scale of the issue, they began to work with the sponsors of the MLK Day of Service as well as SGA to come up with a solution, and said that they will work with event participants on their citations.
SGA President Dennis Hagans said that a list of students who were registered for the event was made available to Parking and Traffic, and advises all students to file an appeal at the Parking and Traffic office to see if they can get their fine waived.
Anyone who receives a parking citation can appeal the citation as long as the appeal is filed within 10 days of the citation’s issuance.
While students who received citations are pleased that the MLK Day problem is being handled so quickly, there is still a lot of confusion among the student body about where and when they can and cannot receive citations.
Hagans said something SGA will look at this semester is clarifying and then raising awareness among the student body about the parking regulations so as to avoid situations like these in the future.
According to the official parking regulations found on the Parking and Traffic website: “Parking areas are generally reserved for the type of permit holder indicated by signs from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except as otherwise indicated.”
For more information on the SFA parking regulations, contact Parking and Traffic at (936) 468-7275, in their office on the first floor of the Wilson Parking Garage, or visit www.sfasu.edu/parking for a complete list of rules and a parking map.