Mercer Cluster

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Mercer Police looks to clear parking confusion

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Mercer Police looks to clear parking confusion

A car with a ticket on the windshield. Photo by Marianna Bacallao.

A car with a ticket on the windshield. Photo by Marianna Bacallao.

A car with a ticket on the windshield. Photo by Marianna Bacallao.

A car with a ticket on the windshield. Photo by Marianna Bacallao.

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Mercer University Police, or Merpo, have responded to student concerns throughout the semester about parking rules and tickets on campus.

In an email to students March 8, Merpo said that fines were being placed on students’ accounts in advance of course registration, which began March 11.

Many of these fines are from tickets written much earlier than the date the fine was posted to the account,” according to the email.

Hannah Winslett, a junior holistic child major, is one student who has found issues with the parking ticket system.

“I was charged twice for the same parking ticket, and when I called about it they were not very helpful. I had to go in and speak to someone to get it resolved, but it took some time for the charge to be taken off my account,” she said.

Winslett also said parking on campus is a problem because of distance from residence halls.

“I know some people don’t feel safe walking alone back to their rooms from their cars, and it’s worse when you have to walk from the other side of campus,” she said.

The Cluster spoke with Chief of Police Gary Collins and Lieutenant Gary Mills to clarify parking procedures.

“We want to make sure everybody understands it,” Mills said.

On campus, parking on spots with diagonal lines, on grass, in loading zones and yellow curbs is not allowed. Students also cannot park in a handicap-designated spot without the appropriate decal.

There needs to be “some indication on the ground that it is like you know, white lines letting you know that it is a parking space,” Mills said.

Parking rules for all Lofts and within Mercer Village is always enforced, he said. In other spots on campus, students can park freely Monday through Friday after 4 p.m and before 8 a.m.

If a student believes they have been ticketed wrongly, they have five days to appeal a ticket.

“You fill out an appeal form and attach the ticket to it, and then there’s an appeal committee meeting,” Collins said.

At the appeal committee meeting, the appeal is denied or accepted. If the appeal is accepted, the student does not have to pay for their ticket.

The meeting is scheduled once Merpo has received several appeal requests from students.

Collins said Merpo dealt with growing pains this year that contributed to some confusion surrounding the fines.

“We went to a new system, ok. The computer people … set us up with the new system and we were going through it. Well, the system didn’t work,” Collins said.

As a result, he said some students have been charged twice for the same parking ticket.

“The people that have been charged twice for the same ticket, they need to come here,” Collins said.

Collins wants students to understand parking rules.

“If they have any questions about parking, they can come down here and someone would be glad to answer the questions,” Collins said.

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Mercer Police looks to clear parking confusion