Sorry about that ticket

Sorry about that ticket

Sorry about that ticket
February 27
11:00 2018

“It’s just not fair!” 

You know why? Because parking fines suck. Getting your car towed sucks. Paying more than a hundred bucks for a permit, in addition to tuition, sucks. Accidentally parking in the wrong designated space (or on purpose for lack of time) just to return and discover a ticket that then leads to a hold on student accounts sucks.

I’m sorry, but I cannot afford the $35 ticket.

Yes, I know it’s just $35. But when you literally have $5 left in your bank account, $35 is a pretty hefty price.

I take six classes and spend an average of $800 on required textbooks. I spend eight hours a day on homework and still never truly finish all of my work. My job hates that I only work weekends, and since I only get scheduled twice a month, I only pull in about $100. I can barely afford my rent every month. I’m sorry, but I have to eat. It’s also unfortunate my minivan costs $60 a week to fill up. I’m even sorry that I just had to go to Applebee’s last Wednesday for Dollaritas.

But most of all, I’m sorry that I’m actually not sorry.

All of these expenses may suck, but I know I am not the only one. We are all students with baggage and responsibilities. We have to find a balance between school work and our jobs. Some of us are fortunate to not have to work, but that is not an option for the majority of students.

A lot of us deal with off-campus employers who are unsympathetic to full-time students who work. They do not understand, or don’t care, that sometimes last-minute things come up: a special review session, an extra credit opportunity, a special guest speaker in the Lyceum and maybe even an essay you forgot was due in two days.

My point is simple: with all these outside influences, a student should not have to worry about their student account having a hold on it from a police department supposedly separate from the university.

The UNT parking office should not send citations to credit reporting agencies and charge late fees for currently enrolled students.

Some people just may need a little more than 15 days to pay off that ticket. Those same people may need more time when that ticket jumps to $60. I know in the “real world” there are no excuses. But in the “real world,” our tickets are not linked to our educations either.

I think it is time someone hears our concerns and establishes an open forum for a discussion to take place. Maybe permits should be included in tuition, or maybe the cost to get one should be reduced.

I know I’m not the only one questioning the current system in place. Thankfully, the parking office sometimes offers money off citations if donations are made, and that is very kind of them. But I just do not believe that $85 is reasonable to charge any student for needing to park their car in order to get to classes they spend thousands of dollars to enroll in.

Update: Being the broke college student that I am, I wrote an email to the Transportation Services parking director requesting a reduction on the ticket price. She was happy to retract the late fee, and now I owe $50. Of course, I’d prefer it to be $0, but this is a step forward from where I previously was. So there you have it: voice your concerns and compromise will (hopefully) come.

Featured Image: Illustration by Gabby Evans

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Brianna Adams

Brianna Adams

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