[media-credit name=”Hannah Schindler” align=”alignnone” width=”500″][/media-credit]
While some students were happy to get tickets to the QU vs. Yale game this past weekend, some seniors received tickets they didn’t want.
Over 100 cars were ticketed the morning of the game, according to Parking and Transportation Coordinator Shanon Grasso. She said the reason so many cars were ticketed was because of the preparation for the game.
“A lot goes into these games, especially one like the Yale game where we are expecting record crowds and keeping everything orderly,” she said. “If [The Department of Public Safety is] concentrating on keeping the building safe, getting 200 cars to move last minute is really difficult and it stresses the resources.”
Grasso sent an email to the student body on Monday, Feb. 22 to remind students parked in Eastview and Westview parking lots to move to the York Hill parking garage no later than three hours before the Brown game on Friday, Feb. 26. The email also said for students to keep their vehicles parked in the garage until Sunday, Feb. 28 because of the Yale game on Saturday night.
Grasso then sent a second email on Friday morning to remind students parked in these parking lots to move their cars before the Brown game that night.
On Saturday morning some seniors who didn’t move their cars were in for a big surprise when Public Safety ticketed every car in violation of the email.
“Well Quinnipiac won $40 from me today on a bet. I bet that Quinnipiac was not going to ticket my car but I lost and they won. Congratulations Quinnipiac you got my tuition money and an extra $40,” senior Nurudeen Osumah said in a post on the Quinnipiac Class of 2016 Facebook page.
When senior Megan MeGill saw this Facebook post, she at first didn’t think anything of it.
“They have never ticketed any cars in Eastview before when they warned us they would,” she said. “For example, every time there was a snowstorm or a regular hockey game, they would email us to say move our cars and if we didn’t we were subject to tickets or towing of our cars at our expense. So every time that happened I would always move my car but no one ever got ticketed.”
When MeGill received the email from Grasso about moving her car for the men’s ice hockey games, she decided to leave her car in the Eastview parking lot since she was attending Friday’s game against Brown.
“I left my car [in Eastview] and was planning on moving it [Saturday] morning because I know how hectic the parking lot was going to be anyway,” she said.
MeGill said when she saw the Facebook post she decided to go out to her car, where she found she was ticketed at 9:06 a.m. for parking in a restricted/unauthorized area. She said the receipt paper on her car said she would receive an email about her ticket, but she has not yet received one.
“I went out to my car and every single car in the lot had tickets,” she said. “It was a $40 ticket and I was furious. I didn’t understand why they chose the last day of a hockey game to enforce a rule which they never had previously and ticketed all the cars without warnings.”
Grasso said she was disappointed in how many cars were ticketed the morning to the game.
“It was unfortunate. I never like ticketing anybody,” she said. “I would really like it if people just adhered to the policies. I know it is an inconvenience to students, I understand that. But until the policy changes it is what we have to work with.”
The Quinnipiac Student Handbook states that whenever possible, three days notice will be given to students, faculty and staff in regards to special events on campus, including athletic events. It also states that both adjacent parking lots to the TD Bank Sports Center on York Hill must be vacated no later than eight hours prior to the start of a sporting event.
Grasso said the difference in this case was that the directions in the email took precedence over the student handbook policies.
“When I sent out the email I specified that from Friday to Sunday [students] should keep [their cars] in the garage,” she said. “This is a written directive from Public Safety at that point and the email supersedes the written regulations at that point in time.”
MeGill wasn’t the only student who was upset. Senior Eric Sidewater said he planned to move his car Saturday morning and received a parking ticket at 8:40 a.m.
“I came back from my friends house on Friday night and parked there at 2 a.m.,” he said. “I knew the game was the next night so I made a point to wake up early on a Saturday to move my car. Then I get there at 9 a.m. and boom! I have a ticket.”
Sidewater said he drove around the entire Eastview lot and saw every single windshield had a ticket on it.
“I just thought, ‘Wow, can’t believe they would ticket so many people,’” he said. “Then I call my roommate and he got a ticket too. My friends in Eastview had an entire room of five [students] all get tickets.”
Some students such as senior Chris Parneros commented on Osumah’s Facebook post saying he was appealing his parking ticket.
“I looked through the handbook and it says cars must be moved at least eight hours prior to the start of the game and my ticket was issued 10 hours before,” he said in the Facebook post. “Hopefully that works for all of us. If not, I’ll be going to TD [Bank] this week to get $40 worth of pennies.”
Parneros said he is hoping his ticket is appealed because of what he read in the student handbook.
“From what I’ve heard from other seniors, this is the first time this year that they’ve ticketed cars for being in the Eastview lot,” he said. “It doesn’t seem right that they picked the last game of the season to start writing tickets.”
Paneros said he interpreted the email as telling students to move their cars for when people were coming to the game later on that day.
“I don’t see why they had to ticket me on Saturday morning when they could have just ticketed people before or during the game,” he said.
MeGill said she believes seniors should not have to move their cars for sporting events.
“I was furious that I got ticketed when I was parking in my own parking lot. I pay [about] $13,000 a year to live [on York Hill],” she said. “I shouldn’t have to be accommodating to people who only paid for one hockey ticket.”
MeGill said Public Safety should be enforcing these rules throughout the year and not just for certain games.
“People would have taken the emails more seriously if they ticketed the cars when they said they were for previous snowstorms and games,” she said. “They should have emailed us that morning giving us a warning to move our cars before the Yale game and said if not they would ticket and/or tow. Since they never stated it in the emails for this week, I did not even think they would.”
Grasso said Public Safety tries to practice consistency but does not always have the manpower to do so.
“Does the student body want more enforcement of parking regulations? To me that seems counterintuitive,” she said. “This was a priority because of the sheer number of people we were going to be having [at York Hill]. We all don’t have to like the rules but, until they change, they are the rules. I liken it to getting a speeding ticket. Sometimes you get pulled over and sometimes you get away with it.”
Grasso also said she did not add that cars would be ticketed or towed because it is implied in the email.
“I guess I want to give students credit for knowing it and on one hand everyone wants to be treated as adults and that hand holding isn’t necessary,” she said. “If it’s something the students want I am happy to add that line, but I think that line is kind of a negative thing to add.”
Sidewater does not blame Public Safety for doing their job of ticketing cars the day of the Yale game.
“I don’t think they had malicious intentions,” he said. “I just think the fact that over a hundred cars got tickets proves that they didn’t warn people adequately.”
Grasso said students could get involved with SGA (Student Government Association) to make suggestions to change the policy.
“I am happy to work with students to make this something that is palatable,” she said.