By: Matthew Fowler, Staff Writer
This semester, students have been getting more parking tickets, something that really didn’t happen last year. But campus security says that if students park only in designated areas, they shouldn’t have a problem. Getting their Newman parking passes, which they’ve already paid for, is a good idea too.
While the return of parking tickets may come as a surprise to some, Newman recently sent out an announcement warning the campus community about unauthorized parking. The September 25 and 27 Jet Broadcast emails contained notices about student parking, and some on-campus residents received similar notices from their resident assistants.
“Students are kindly reminded to park in student-designated parking now that school has been underway for a few weeks,” the Jet Broadcast message said. “Please reserve handicapped parking for those with appropriate permits. Please reserve faculty parking for faculty. Security Officers as well as the Wichita Police Department will issue tickets and fines for violations.”
Parking tickets will be issued to vehicles parked on grass, in designated no-parking zones, and to student vehicles parking in faculty or other non-student lots, said Mike Egbert, a member of the campus security team. Although some students may see the tickets as a nuisance, Egbert said, he wants students to know that the parking tickets are ultimately issued out of concern for student safety and security.
“Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. And we definitely understand the parking lot is not always the easiest to navigate because it gets filled up pretty quickly,” Egbert said.
One major concern for the security team is ensuring that emergency vehicles have access to key locations around campus and have sufficient maneuverability in the limited parking lot space.
“They have a wider turning base than regular cars, so we could easily damage one of your cars accidentally,” Egbert said. “And unfortunately, if you are parked in a no-parking zone, it kind of falls into your liability.”
Egbert said that everyone at Newman should pick up parking permits, which allow campus security to reach students and faculty with time-sensitive information about their vehicles and alert them if their cars are damaged or parked in a no-parking zone.
“It is a more instant way to find out whose car and all of that,” he said. “So if there is a flat tire or someone hit your car, we do not have to wait around. We can just directly look you up and get a hold of you.”
Parking permits, which are hung on a vehicle’s rear-view mirror, may be picked up from the Student Accounts office in Sacred Heart Hall, room 230, at no additional charge to students, who will be required to provide their student ID number, telephone number, vehicle make, year, color, license plate number and state of license plate issuance. Students also can pick up a parking ticket appeal form or pay an outstanding parking ticket balance in the Student Accounts office.
Additionally, security recommends that students remove their parking permits from visibility in their vehicles when not on the Newman University campus to limit displaying identifiable information publicly.
“It is always a good idea, when you do have your parking permit, that you take it down if you leave campus,” Egbert said.
PHOTO: Screenshot: NU Parking Instagram