A student walks out of the business school after a turbo and notices a white card placed under the winshield wiper of his car. A familiar sight for many students, fines for parking violations are as common as ever.

In 2001 Fairfield security collected $130,093 in parking ticket fines from 10,123 tickets. The number of tickets increased almost 50% from 6,809 in 2000. 195 cars were towed in 2001.

According to Frank Ficko, associate director of Security, increases in tickets have cropped up due to a couple of issues. First, parking violations have been more seriously enforced since the construction on campus has been winding down. Ficko said while buildings on campus were being constructed or renovated, security was more lenient in relation to parking violations.

Fairfield has also vigorously enforced their registration policy at the beginning of the year. However, they allowed people to have their fines waived if they registered within 7 days. While the school could have collected over $200,000 in 2001 off of just the minimum $20 fines throughout 2001, ultimately many of the fines were waived.

Thirdly, there were changes to the way parking spaces were allocated. The color-coding of the parking zones was introduced at the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year. While numbers are not broken down, parking tickets issued in 2001 jumped after the introduction of the zones. 2001 was the first full year that the zones were in place.

Ficko recalled that “a few years ago, we tried to take the approach of the reasonable person.” This approach resulted in students being allocated parking spaces in areas adjacent to where a student resides.

In the current color coding system, students in the quad area are issued red parking permits. These students are allowed to park in the outer lots on the edge of campus behind the quad. Townhouses residents are issued yellow permits, and are allowed to park the spaces around the townhouses. Those residing in the apratments and Kostka/Claver are issued brown-colored permits. These permits allow them to park in the lots near the Quick Center and in front and behind of Kostka and the apartments.

Ficko said that this “seems to be managemable.” He also noted that the only way the system will work if there’s “bite behind the bark.”

The biggest complaint of the system, according to Ficko, is from students who attend a lot of classes at the School of Business. Students echoed these concerns. Kathyrn Mattal ’02, who has received two tickets this year, received both for parking in the wrong zone. One was received at the School of Business during a 7:30 PM turbo, and the other was received at 2:30 AM when she was parked behind the library.

She disagrees with the way the policy works. “I think it doesn’t take into account our safety. If I have to be hiking across campus in the middle of the night, it’s not a safe thing to do. I think they should be more in tune with students’ parking needs and realize that needs go beyond just parking in front of our house.”

Mike Brosnan ’03 agreed. He received a number of tickets for parking in non-designated zones. “God forbid, someone in he townhouses parks in the quad or vice-versa. I don’t think that’s necessary. Students on campus should be able to park anywhere they want. Getting tickets on weekends or after faculty leave [campus] is dumb. It is foolish that they wouldn’t let people park ing those lots after 5 or 6 p.m.” He went on to say that he believes it’s more of a fundraiser for the school.

The so-called fundraiser ultimately does not go into the pockets of the security department – Ficko says they don’t receive as much as a nickel of the money collected. Instead, the money is placed into the General Fund, which is used for a variety of different needs on campus.

Ficko says that the number of tickets issued could be reduced if students rely more on the shuttles that are available to students on campus. Ficko noted that “the shuttle has increased its runs and frequency” to serve the needs of the students. While he understands the convenience of being able to park by the academic buildings that house the classes being taken by a student, he notes that Fairfield is considered a pedestrian campus.

Fairfield’s size also is acceptable for walking, and changes in scheduling this school year increased the time between classes. Some students, however, don’t agree with the idea of Fairfield being a pedestrian campus. Mattal commented that “the campuses that are pedestrian don’t have as many roads as Fairfield.”

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