Disabled parking misused on campus

Jerret Raffety

University officials said they want students and visitors to remember that disabled parking is for those who need it and no one else.

Police issued five citations for fraudulent use of a handicapped parking permit last week, according to police records.

All five reports were issued on or near campus to students and visitors using relatives’ permits. Some violators cited free parking at meters and easy access to preferred parking as reasons for using the permits.

Parking permits abused

The University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Jacqueline Brudlos, marketing coordinator with Parking and Transportation Services.

Meredith McGrath, associate director of Student Judicial Affairs, said abusing disabled parking isn’t just a crime, it’s a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

Specifically, abusing disabled parking spaces could be a violation of conduct codes concerning theft, unauthorized access and violation of federal and state laws on campus, she said.

Students cited for this violation usually receive a mandatory active sanction from the University, McGrath said. An active sanction could include warning, probation, suspension or expulsion.

“(Active sanctions) work as a barometer of where you stand with school,” McGrath said.

Depending on the severity of the violation, some students might also receive a passive sanction, McGrath said. The passive sanction is meant to provide reflection, learning and foresight into how to conduct yourself in the future, she said.

For parking-abusers, these can include researching legitimate parking or bussing options. Some violaters might have to create an educational poster for potential parking-abusers or do community service.

McGrath said that hopefully, students would learn their lessons and not park illegally in the future.

U-Passes stolen

There were three separate instances of U-Passes being stolen on campus last week. Two of the Metro Transit bus passes were stolen after victims had left them unattended for a few minutes, according to police reports.

In the event of theft, the University replaces U-Passes for 50 percent of their value, the reports said. Some students said the charge wasn’t fair.

“They told me it was still $25 even with a police report; even though all they needed to do was void the old one and print up a new one,” third-year student Paul Johnson said.

“There’s no way that cost anywhere near $25.”

University police could not be reached for comment on the parking permit or U-Pass issues Wednesday.