A temporary outline for a new program designed to help students pay off parking tickets was just recently sent out.
This program, called the Raider Parking Citation Diversion Program, allows students to work off $50 parking tickets by working with Mount Union Campus Security.
As of now, students will only need to work with Campus Security for 1-2 hours and this volunteer work could include things like joining them on a ride-along, sitting in on the parking appeal committee, lectures or working with them during football games or other similar/smaller events. Students will only be able to work off one parking ticket per semester and must do it in the month in which it was received. Tickets must be appealed within seven days of receiving them and students can still volunteer while appealing. Students can also go through the process of requesting an appeal before volunteering. If a ticket is worked off and a student gets another parking ticket in the same semester, that next ticket will also only cost $50 but it can no longer be worked off. Another instance in which a parking ticket cannot be worked off is if it comes from parking in a handicap spot. This program is slated to start in the summer of 2021.While it is admirable that students are being given opportunities to help the campus community instead of losing money, there are some potential issues with this new program. Firstly, requiring the volunteer work to be done in the same month the ticket was received does not give everyone equal opportunity. A student who got a ticket on the 7th day of the month has a much better chance of being able to work off the ticket than someone who got one on the 27th. If this rule were changed so that students had one month to work off tickets, that might help give students more opportunities. The biggest potential issue with this new program is the possible exploitation of college students for free labor. For most college students, money is very slim and if they are not able to appeal parking tickets, then doing volunteer work is very preferable to losing $50. If more patrolling is done once this program is launched and more parking tickets are distributed, Campus Security could then use low-income college students for unpaid labor.A valid counterpoint to these issues is that if students do not want to volunteer with Campus Security or pay $50, then they should not park where they are not supposed to; however, not every parking ticket given out is done so correctly. That is why students can appeal tickets and essentially plead their case for why they should not have gotten one in the first place. Say the stipulation about volunteer work needing to be done in the same month the ticket is received is not revised, forcing students who receive tickets near the end of the month to act quickly if they do not want to lose money. Even if they would be able to appeal those tickets, they would not have had enough time to really know, and thus, they give up time that could have been spent doing homework or studying for a test. That is just one of the many negative outcomes that could arise from this new program. Even though this article has been largely hypothetical and speculative, it is important to point out potential flaws so that future issues can be prevented.