After circling the parking lot at Citrus, finding a spot feels like a miracle, but coming back after class to find a dreadful piece of paper sitting on the windshield can create a negative impact on any student’s day.
Depending on the violation, tickets commonly start at $35 for minor offenses and can head upward toward $330.
Ben Macias, head of Campus Safety at Citrus, said among the most common violations on campus is the “failure to obtain or display a valid parking permit,” which costs $35.
“The parking citations in a year could run about $120,000, or maybe as high as $250,000,” Rosalinda Buchwald, director of Citrus College Fiscal Services Dept. said.
“We don’t get to retain 100% of those fees,” Buchwald said. “About 35-38% of those fees go to the court.” For example, $12.50 of a $35 ticket is directed to the Citrus Supreme Court, a separate entity from Citrus College.
Of the services provided by Campus Safety, 25% of them involve services not related to parking. “[T]hose costs are paid for with the citation funds,” Buchwald said.
Both Buchwald and Macias said the volume of citations fluctuates throughout the year, with more being present after the first week of the Spring and Fall semesters.
Buchwald said this fluctuation is dependent on a number of factors. “One; Is Campus Safety fully staffed? Do they have the manpower to go out and write citations all day long?” Buchwald said. “And two; do we have people violating? That varies as well.”
Many students have different theories of where the funds from parking citations are directed to.
“There’s this misnomer out there…that there’s some some type of quota that our officers have to write a certain amount of citations, which is incorrect.” Macias said. “There’s no quota.”
“Any funds that are generated through citations, those actually go back to the college’s general fund and those get dispersed through every department, every program, on this campus.” Macias said. “It doesn’t come to this department directly.”
“Really, we’re not in the business of making money, you know? We’re just trying to make sure that we cover the costs that are incurred for Campus Safety Dept. to run efficiently.” Buchwald said.
See what students think in the video posted above.