By Janelle Harb
The Undergraduate Student Association has proposed a resolution to issue a Canisius owned and operated parking ticket system in Canisius parking lots, as opposed to the current system which issues Buffalo City tickets. Currently, Buffalo City tickets are priced at $40 or $60 each, and students who’ve been ticketed must go downtown to appeal.
Senior and sophomore, respectively, Senators and Public Safety Liaisons John Overfield and Christina Kolbmann have proposed this new system. In their resolution, they described that Canisius would profit from tickets issued to improperly parked cars in their lots. Tickets would be placed at a lower cost than the current City tickets. Furthermore, this would also encourage the purchase of parking passes because students with passes committing offenses will be ticketed by Canisius, while students without will still be ticketed by the city.
In this system implemented via Rydin, a parking management application, every Public Safety officer would have a tablet to print these tickets from, and when these tickets are issued, the student or faculty member will get an email notifying them.
The Senators stated that it would only cost $5,000 to $7,000 for this tablet system to be implemented.
“What it boils down to is whether or not you have a permit,” Overfield stated at last week’s Senate meeting. “We want students to have permits, which registers your car, and whether or not you get a Buffalo City ticket or a Canisius ticket will depend on whether or not you have a permit.”
On finding a vehicle in some form of violation and requiring a ticket, the issuing Public Safety officer would look up if the vehicle was a registered pass-holder in the Canisius system, and would then distribute a Canisius or Buffalo ticket accordingly. In this way, Student Accounts would issue the permits, and place holds on students’ accounts when a ticket goes unpaid.
Director of Public Safety H. Will Johnson has stated that he does not want the money raised from these tickets to go back into Public Safety, as this would be a “conflict of interest.” Johnson had originally given Overfield and Kolbmann this idea, as well as expressed that he would prefer this new system, as there would be little extra work added onto the officers; it would also lessen the burden of such a hefty fine on already-struggling college students.
“All ticket and permit money [raised] would go toward parking lots and the ramp, which permit money goes to already,” Overfield and Kolbmann stated. “Originally, we would have liked to see the money go back to USA’s General Allocation Pool for students’ mistakes to still benefit them… Unfortunately, that was not going to be a reasonable request due to Student Accounts and Public Safety doing the work.”
This new system would pay for itself in approximately two to three years, and then begin to profit soon thereafter, although the question remains as to who will be funding the project, whether it will be USA, Public Safety, or the College itself.
“Although this would benefit Canisius immensely, our goal is to enhance the overall student experience, whether it be with small steps or a whole new parking system,” the Senators said. “Lowering parking ticket prices in the lots was our goal from the beginning and would benefit not only students but faculty as well. This would bring in much needed revenue to the Canisius community that is not currently being utilized. We have spent a countless number of hours trying to find a reason not to use this system, and have found none so far.”
Like most USA proposals, this parking resolution may take years to come to fruition within the College. However, along with other proposals such as the divestment resolution, it indicates the willingness in action that USA has shown to team up with College administration in creating new and beneficial school legislation.