SGA, campus security look to curb parking ticket quagmire


(Photo: Maddy Hermon/The Simpsonian)

by Maddie Travis, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — If you have a car here at Simpson, chances are you’ve gotten at least one parking ticket without knowing it.

Day by day, those tickets seem to pile up until you stumble upon the unwelcomed bouquet of tickets waiting for you to find them. Student Government Association has been working with campus security on a new awareness plan to help students become more aware of their parking tickets.

“We’ve noticed there’s a problem with the way parking tickets are communicated to students as soon as they get one and then continuing on afterwards,” Emma Schlenker, junior class president and co-chair of the Student Advocacy and Internal Affairs Committee, said.

This parking ticket problem is not one that developed overnight.

SGA and campus security have been working on this problem throughout two student government administrations, Schlenker said.

“We’re not talking about whose fault it is that students don’t know where to park. All we’re talking about is how to educate,” Schlenker said.

SGA realizes there are problems with the situation, but it also sees the responsibility college students have in knowing the facts.

“Yes, they should have read the student handbook that lays out where parking is allowed. Yes, they should have read their parking permit that explains where they can and cannot park. Yes, there are signs,” Schlenker said. “All of these things should lead to people parking in the right places, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.”

With the current system, a student simply receives a parking ticket without official notice. The new plan SGA is trying to implement involves a resource already available to all students.

“We know there’s a way for the parking tickets to associate themselves to student accounts. Meaning, when someone gets a parking ticket, they should receive an email,” Schlenker said.

When a ticket is issued, the student would get an email, stating they have received a parking ticket, the general fees and fines associated with the ticket, a copy of the student handbook, and a campus map showing where parking is and isn’t allowed. This would notify students of their tickets and allow them to take care of them in a timely manner.

“It’s an ongoing process, but as student representatives, we know that there’s a problem. This is just a way to make it better, a way to make it accessible to all students and a way to make sure that security isn’t seen as a bunch of bad guys handing out parking tickets,” Schlenker said.

SGA members said they want to implement the program as soon as possible. Schlenker encourages students to voice their opinions appropriately.

“Change takes time. What we’re asking is that students be patient, and if there’s a specific problem, talk to one of your class representatives,” Schlenker said.

For more information about the new parking ticket program, contact Schlenker at [email protected] or your student government class officer.