Violaters apathetic to citations

Jen Haberkorn

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Nine thousand scofflaws are walking around Marquette’s campus.

The Department of Public Safety issues 9,000 parking tickets each year to faculty, students and visitors — some of whom are repeat offenders, according to Todd Vicker, executive director of Auxiliary Services.

Most often, tickets are issued for parking without a permit.

Of the fines assessed, $45,000 per year is actually collected. The funds are put into the parking operating budget, he said. Just over half of the fines are paid, 35 percent are appealed and waived and the remaining 15 percent go uncollected.

The last 15 percent of tickets are considered outstanding, but most are eventually paid, Vicker said.

Some tickets are issued to graduating seniors who leave campus without paying their tickets. In this case, the parking office makes “every possible attempt to collect,” he said. Most often, people eventually pay the fines. The Parking Office sends letters to students with outstanding fines.

The number of tickets issued and fines collected remain consistent year to year. In the case that citation revenue dropped one year, the loss “would need to be made up elsewhere,” Vicker said. However, it is unlikely this would happen, he said.

Some students have managed to collect parking tickets from both Marquette’s DPS and the Milwaukee Police Department.

Junior Kyle Carritt had a car on campus last year, but didn’t want to pay for a permanent parking permit from Marquette nor the city.

Instead, he would park on the street and frequently move his car or park in friends’ backyards. Sometimes he was able to park in a campus lot that would open with his ID.

Eventually, the law caught up with him. He accrued “at least two dozen” tickets from MPD and about three from DPS.

He has paid nearly half of his fines to the city and none to DPS. Instead, he has hung most of them up on his wall.

“I guess I like showing them off more than I like paying for them,” Carritt said.

However, he said he will pay them before he graduates next year. In the meantime, his car is staying at home.

People that come to campus on a temporary basis are sometimes not apt to pay their tickets.

Junior Courtney Elflein said she has heard of students from other universities coming to campus and ignoring tickets issued from DPS.

“They don’t care,” she said. “They get the ticket and don’t pay it because they don’t go here and aren’t coming back.”

Elflein said most students feel this way because there is no way for DPS to track them down.

However, Vicker denied there is a problem with people visiting campus and not paying a fine they had incurred. There are simply not many tickets issued to non-Marquette students, and when they are, “most fines are paid.”

Marquette students, Elflein said, are more likely to pay their tickets.

She said she often hears of students getting tickets for parking without a permit and most often, they pay them. One student refused to pay his ticket — until he found out there is a consequence. If students do not pay parking fines, they will not be allowed to purchase a parking permit in the future.

The fine for parking without a permit is $10.

“It’s not expensive, just annoying,” she said.

A former employee once accumulated over $500 in fines, Vicker said, the most costly tab DPS has seen. The tickets were never paid.

“I did say ‘former’ employee,” Vicker said. “Maybe this is one reason the employee is no longer working here.”

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