Parking tickets in abundance at SBCC

Ariel Seth and Ariel Seth

Last month, approximately 1,370 parking tickets were issued at City College. That’s about 65 tickets per day issued for students who don’t follow parking regulations.

Parking in carpool without a pass, or parking on campus without a permit will result in a $30 fine, while parking in a red zone or no parking area is $40. The highest fee is $300, which is for parking in a handicapped zone without a handicap place card.

All fees go to the City College Parking Fund, which provides money for anything related to parking, including stop signs, other parking signs, and speed bumps.

“I got a ticket in the parking lot down by the stadium for parking without a parking pass,” said student Kai John Solin. “I just paid it. It was my first time here and didn’t know how to get a day pass… I was late to class and had to pay $40.”

Part of the job for a City College security officer is to not only provide security and a safe secure environment for students, but to issue citations for those who don’t follow parking regulations.

“Giving tickets is part of the job,” said Tassio Siova, student security officer. “I don’t really like it, but it’s for the safety of the parking lot and other students.”

There are about four to six security officers working on campus at any given time. Shifts are anywhere between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., where they work about four to five hours patrolling specified areas, all sharing the duty of writing parking tickets.

According to Melanie Rogers, Research and Assessment Analyst, there are 18,457 students enrolled at City College this spring semester. There are an estimated 1,941 available parking stalls, according to a parking count taken in 2007 by Erik Fricke, Director of Security.

Siova says most of the tickets he writes are for students parked in carpool without permits.

He said many students circle around the parking structure, then give up and park in carpool.

“Sometimes when I’m giving them[tickets] a student will walk up and start freaking out and yelling,” Siova said. “We just have to stay calm and try to relax. If they got a ticket it’s because they did something wrong. I tell them to put themselves in my shoes, do you think I like doing this?”

According to Fricke, security officers in training go through a short program where they learn how to deal with exasperated students.

“It happens every day,” Fricke said. “When approached by a student, it is important for the officers to remember it’s nothing personal.”

According to Fricke, the most popular area where tickets are issued is on West Campus in the carpool lots and in the parking structure.

“This is my first semester here and I’ve already gotten a ticket,” said student Matt Calleja. “It was for parking in carpool without a pass. I was pissed and tried to contest it. I lost. You just have to watch where you park.”

Students have 21 days to pay their ticket or contest it, which requires them to fill out a rescind form located at a kiosk or the security office.

If the first contest fails, students have the ability to have a second appeal for their ticket, which requires them to meet one-on-one with a security officer.

Sometimes the fee will get reduced, Fricke says. He says it depends on the situation.

“Roughly 20% of tickets get approved when contested, due to an officer’s error or special circumstances.”

If students do not pay the fine, it will double.

After five tickets and no payment, it turns to an outstanding citation, and City College is allowed by California Law to boot the vehicle.

“Few cars actually get towed,” Fricke said. “The only reason to tow is if it’s abandoned or it’s parked so it’s blocking traffic.”

Fricke says it’s important for students to utilize their bicycles, carpool, the bus, and VanPool, a City College van that provides transportation for students for a monthly rate from Santa Maria, Ventura and Ojai.