by Maria Determan
It’s 3:12 in the afternoon and you stroll down upper lot, get in your car, look up and there it is. One of the most dreaded sights of the world: the big, bolded red letters PARKING TICKET.
Many have fallen victim to the classic “forgot to put up the hang tag” offense. This little yellow slip sends students fuming for days. However, students can find solace when they hear the history and context surrounding Marian parking tickets. It’s not like the regular annoying city ticket.
The Marian car identification system has had considerable changes in recent years. The old parking permit was in the form of a colored sticker, plastered to the back windshield. In 2016, the new red and yellow hang tags were created. This system allows for easy identification and a distinct contrast between carpool and upper lot students, even if students may not like the lack of ability to exchange them with underclasswomen.
Mrs. Shari Reynolds, Business Office Assistant, is officially in charge of all parking-related matters. She is excited for students to hear the truth behind parking tickets and believes that they can be avoided altogether if you follow these easy steps.
First and foremost, always remember to put your hang tag on your rear-view mirror. This is by far the most common error that results in a ticket.
However, if one day you arrive frazzled and behind schedule, forgetting to slap up your hang tag, you may only receive a warning. Parking lot security guard Mr. Wayne Downie has mercy on first time offenders – that is if your parking hang tag is within obvious sight, like on top of the dashboard. If Downie sees your tag, and you simply forgot to hang it up, you will receive a warning.
Secondly, only park in the lot your tag denotes. This means that if you are late to school and spot an empty space in carpool lot, your violation will not go unnoticed.
Another essential parking rule is that pulling through and backing in are not allowed. The primary reason for this regulation is for the safety of all driving newbies and the convenience of seeing tags for Downie.
Finally, there is the ultimate parking violation; one that is rare, yet highly offensive. It comes in that moment when you think you scored a spot at the top of upper lot, pull in and altogether disregard the “VISITOR PARKING” sign.
Spots for teachers are denoted by any kind of number on the cement – either spray painted or darkly colored. All spots along the drive are reserved for faculty and staff as well. If you mosey into any spot in the convent lot, you are in for a whopping $20 ticket.
When asked why Marian doles out these detestable fines, Reynolds said, “The primary reason is security. We have had times before when cars have been abandoned in our lot or have not been accountable, and that’s a security risk.”
While in the heat of the moment, though a ticket may seem superfluous, the reality is that abandoned cars could hold dangerous materials.
In another sense, Marian parking tickets are a necessary stepping stone and great lesson-provider for all young drivers. When you find yourself in the real world, fines for parking violations are far beyond a dinky $10.
On the University of Nebraska Omaha campus, failure to put up an authorized hang tag results in a $30 fine. Unauthorized parking in a reserved stall results in a $100 fine.
Marian’s ticket fee doesn’t sound nearly as bad when you do a side-by-side comparison with a university. However, Marian girls have a reputation for holding off their payments until the very last moment. This ultimate procrastination does no good for you or your parents.
Your parking tickets show up on Powerschool as “unpaid fees” and won’t disappear until all have been paid to Reynolds in the Business Office. “You have to have them paid before you pick up your cap and gown,” Reynolds said, addressing seniors specifically.
Contrary to what some angered offenders might imagine, parking ticket profits do not go towards the bonbon fund for Downie. Instead, they go directly into an account that helps pay for Downie and Mr. Richard Huftless’ salary, snow removal, cement repair, light utility fees, fence repair and all other necessities for a safe parking lot.
Next time you face those dreaded red letters on your windshield, remember that your parking ticket is paving the way for a safer Marian.