Parking tickets create financial stress for students

Jennifer Acevedo
Arts & Features Writer 
[email protected]

Photo by Savannah Gross                              UNCA senior being ticketed for not purchasing parking ticket for Fall 2020 semester.

Parking tickets place unnecessary financial burden on students, accord ing to art history student Lindsay Vasold. She said tickets can be as expensive as parking passes.
“I have received just one parking ticket. I don’t have the money to pay for a parking pass, especially when I only have one in person class once a week. If I can’t afford a parking pass, how can I afford a ticket,” Vasold said.
Parking pass prices increased by 33 percent between the 2018-19 school year and 2020-21, according to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Public Safety Eric Boyce. Additional cost for tickets creates more financial strain for students, said Logan Roper.
“They are expensive. Really expensive, and I feel they are unnecessary. We already pay so much to park on campus so tickets for parking just add additional cost,” Roper said.
Receiving tickets makes students upset, Vasold said.
“I parked in an empty parking lot with not even five cars for less than 2 hours. I don’t think it is fair that they gave that fine because we are in the middle of a pandemic and if I don’t have the money for a parking pass, how can I pay a ticket? What bothers me is that it was an empty lot, we can’t even get visitor passes because we are students, and it was so early in the morning too,” Vasold said.
Students living on campus said it remains unfair to receive a ticket especially if parking is far from their building. According to Colin Taylor, a health and wellness promotion student at UNCA, it is tiring to walk to his hall from some parking lots.
“I don’t think it is fair because most of the time when I got a ticket there were open spots and also the only student parking lot near Governors Village is down a very steep hill that is a huge pain to walk up and down multiple times a day,” Taylor said.
The most common reason fines bother students is because they cause financial stress, Taylor said.
“Fines bother me because not only is that more money I have to pay on top of the outrageously expensive parking pass but it also creates so much stress. I feel like it added a lot of stress on my mind and my wallet,” Taylor said.
Students don’t know what to do to avoid receiving more fines, Vasold said.
“Not sure yet what to do to no longer receive a fine. I might just have to be frugal on groceries for the next month because I don’t get enough hours at work to drop $200 on a whim I sorta know the UNCA policies on parking tickets but yes I’m willing to inform myself more about them,” Vasold said.
According to Logan Roper, residential students should be careful of where they park on campus.
“To no longer receive a fine, I am making sure I don’t park in the visitor lot. I’m really careful of where I’m parking as a residential student,” Roper said.
Taylor said after about eight parking tickets he moved his car to a new lot.
“I received about eight parking tickets. I was parking near my dorm in faculty parking. I moved to a place where I can park outside of my residence to no longer receive a fine,”
Taylor said.
Knowing about parking tickets is important, according to Roper. She said it still may be unclear for students where they can and can’t park on campus.
“I feel like it’s a little bit unclear where they can and can’t park on campus whether they’re non-residential students or residential students. I feel it is a little bit more out there but I’ll probably park in places that I am supposed to,” Roper said.