UMass SGA seeks to help students waive first-time parking tickets with a raffle

Raffle tickets will be given out Wednesday for a donation of clothing or food

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Ana Pietrewicz/ Daily Collegian (2022)

By Alex Genovese, Collegian Staff

The Undergraduate Services Committee, led by Lily Bruce, is continuing its initiative to help students revoke first-time parking tickets. The Student Government Association will be hosting a raffle on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Union. To enter, students must bring a donation to the University’s student food pantry, led by Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity.

Bruce explained that students can receive one ticket per article of clothing or food donated with a maximum of five tickets. Once 10 tickets have been selected after the raffle, Bruce will send the names to King who will mark the tickets as paid. The SGA will in turn subsidize the price of those tickets.

There will be exceptions to tickets, however. Bruce explained that handwritten parking tickets will not be able to be revoked as they are issued by the UMPD instead of Parking Services. Additionally, tickets for unlawfully parking in a handicapped space will not be revoked.

According to Bruce, Parking Services attributed the number of parking tickets to the influx of upperclassmen living on campus and bringing their cars with them. Bruce believes that this has been fueled by the increasing price of off-campus housing around UMass. However, Bruce did note that Parking Services said that parking ticket levels have remained the same compared to last year.

“The Undergraduate Services Committee has worked tirelessly on this project and I’m extremely proud of Lily, the USC Chair,” SGA Speaker Clare Sheedy said.

“UMass students, along with students across the country, face numerous external stressors impacting their ability to focus on their academics. So for us, we see this event of the parking ticket raffle as a way to relieve one of many financial burdens students face,” Sheedy said.

“Conversations surrounding the unnecessarily high cost of parking tickets and where these profits actually go will continue,” she said, “So it’s important to remember this solution is not the last we plan on providing as we continue to advocate for our undergraduate student body.”

The Undergraduate Services Committee had secured an agreement with King last year that any student could have their first parking ticket revoked. This agreement, Bruce explained, became difficult to execute for Parking Services as King received hundreds of requests, with many being from people with previous parking infractions.

Bruce explained that while the previous agreement no longer exists, students should appeal their parking ticket if they believe it was unfairly given. According to a document on the Parking Services website, “Appeals should only be filed … if a legitimate basis exists.”

According to the document, student’s cannot appeal due to, “lack of knowledge of parking regulations,” “disagreement with parking regulations,” “did not see the posted parking signs” or “was given incorrect information from friend/faculty/department or any source other than UMass Parking Services.”

To complete the appeals process, students should visit the Parking Services website and log into their account. A citation can only be disputed within 14 days of it being issued. Students can also dispute the outcome of a citation appeal.

They must complete a re-appeal citation form and file it with the Hearings Review Board within “10 days of receipt of the original appeal decision.” The registered owner of the vehicle that was ticketed is responsible for payment.

If a student fails to pay an outstanding ticket, it “may result in the inability to register for classes and/or withholding of transcripts/diploma,” according to a policy set by the Office of the Bursar. “All monies collected from parking citations go directly into the University’s Parking Scholarship fund which is administered by the Financial Aid Office.”

Alex Genovese can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @alex_genovese1.