By Olivia Montes
The Washington College Department of Public Safety released an email regarding the enforcement of the parking citation system on Sept. 15.
According to the email, if students receive a citation, they must first identify whether it is a warning or a ticket. If it is a warning, there is no fee and it requires no appeal, but is meant to encourage students to look at what exactly the citation was for.
However, if it is a ticket, there will be information located on the slip regarding what the violation is for and the mandated fine amount, which will be billed to students’ WC accounts.
Students will also have the option to appeal online if they feel an error has been made. This option will be locked after 10 days, and their College accounts will then be billed.
In addition, all on-campus vehicles must be registered under Public Safety “for any amount of time, at any time of day,” according to the Campus Parking webpage on the WC website. Both guest and visitor passes are also available.
For registration, both students who live on and off the College campus must register their vehicles during the first week of the semester. After completing the online form available on the webpage, students must then go to the Public Safety office and pick up their parking stickers. Proof of registration, such as the actual registration card or a photo of the vehicle’s license plate number, is required.
If students bring their vehicles to campus at a later date, they must register with Public Safety within the next three class days. The registration fee costs $80.
Registration decals for vehicles last for one academic year. From there, all students will be responsible for updating their vehicle information with Public Safety, as well as paying attention to citations.
For visiting family and friends of WC, students can obtain temporary vehicle parking passes from the Public Safety office. They will be required to provide student ID information, as well as visitor vehicle information, such as the make, model, and tag number of your guest’s vehicle. According to the webpage, all temporary passes are “issued free of charge and allow your visitor to park in any open student space” for a limited amount of time.
Any failure to register one’s vehicle on campus or update vital information could result in a fine and a loss of on-campus parking privileges.
“Public Safety officers enforce the parking policy and will continue to do so all year,” Public Safety Officer Manager Candice Tyrell said. “If a student has an excessive number of tickets their vehicle could be booted, they could lose the privilege to park on campus, and/or they could be sent to Student Affairs for a conduct violation.”
According to the Student Government Association minutes from Sept. 21, many students voiced concerns to Director of Public Safety Pamela Hoffmann during the administrative remarks in regards to several tickets issued since the start of the semester and making appeals.
Though these rules may sound daunting to some, according to Hoffmann, they offer the WC community the opportunity to learn not only responsibility for their own selves, but also respect for others on campus.
“As a higher education institution, there are teachable moments for our students outside of the classroom,” Hoffmann said. “Following the rules and regulations regarding parking and parking enforcement, as well as navigating the appeals process, are part of those teachable moments.”
Photo courtesy of Public Safety