Should mom be ticketed? I say no

NEW ORLEANS (March 4, 2018) – Dillard could be losing a lot of goodwill from family members and other visitors, not to mention current students, because of parking policies and, perhaps, the lack thereof.

Imagine having close family – such as your mother or siblings – come to visit and because they do not have a decal, they are issued a $50 citation for failure to have a decal. This seems to be unfair. Surely, they shouldn’t have to pay for a decal if they are only visiting or wonder what the process is for visitor parking, in the first place?

You can advise your family member to appeal, but the chance of success would appear to be slim to none and, thus, a waste of time.

The Dillard University Police Department Citation Appeal form lists reasons that are considered “not valid” for the appeal of parking citations: unfamiliarity with the Dillard University parking regulations; given wrong information from a friend, professor, department or other source about parking on campus; there is no other place to park, etc.

In short, your family member still would have to pay the fine. The Student Handbook offers policy specific to visitors of campus residents and parking. If you try to purchase a temporary pass for your visitor, the only way they would be able to issue one to you is if you pay for a decal.

This happened recently to a friend of mine, Aundranaey Quezaire; her mother came to visit her Saturday, Jan. 21, and was issued a ticket for not having a parking decal even though she was only on campus for a few hours. Her mother has tried to appeal the ticket, but ultimately expects she will end up paying the fine.  

(I reached out to the Dillard University Police Department Chief Silas Phipps by email twice to set up an interview, but no response was provided as of the newspaper deadline.)

The concern is more widespread. DUPD officers have been heavily ticketing vehicles in the Gentilly Gardens and behind the Professional Schools and Sciences Building since the beginning of the semester.

Students who are parked behind PSB are being ticketed because it is said they are parking in an area only for faculty and staff, but most students are unaware of this because there are no signs that state this. Why have students not been notified of this rule in order to help them evade receiving a ticket?

Because no clearly designated parking spaces for visitors exist beyond the few near the Rosenwald gate, it creates a concern not only for students but for professors as well of inviting guests who risk a citation because of not knowing where to park.

The Dillard University Student Handbook states that students, as well as faculty and staff, are required to have a Dillard University parking decal to access to university parking. All vehicles parked on campus, whether it regularly or temporarily, must be registered with the Office of Public Safety and properly display a parking decal.

But how realistic is it to have visitors go to the police station to get a temporary decal? First of all, where would they park over there while they get a decal? Secondly, wouldn’t it be easier to provide a temporary, timed decal at the front gate?

With drainage construction curtailing already-limited parking space on campus, the administration announced in September that parking decal fees would be reduced by half, to $50 and $100 for faculty/staff for fall. Now this spring, parking decals can be purchased for only $25 at the cashier’s window. The reduction apparently has had little effect on the number of decals one sees.

I call on the administration to develop a more rational policy for visitor parking that is clearly articulated to everyone. I ask for more and better signage showing who may park where. And I ask for periodic reminders (as has been done in previous years) of when tickets will begin, etc.