The EKU Parking Appeals Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Jan. 25 in Whitlock 549, Courtney Collins, director of Parking and Transportation Services said. The meeting will be the first by the committee in nearly a year.
In previous years, the SGA Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice served as chair and vice chair of the committee and met other members weekly to vote on appeals, Collins said. Two additional student court justices, one faculty member and one staff member comprised the remainder of the voting members, and at least three members were required to constitute as a quorum. A staff member from Parking and Transportation Services served as an ex-officio, non-voting member.
Since the last Chief Justice, Conner Niceley, graduated in December of 2017, SGA has been unable to appoint a replacement, and committee activity has stalled. The last appeals were delivered to SGA last March, Collins said. The committee has not met since.
The newest committee includes two representatives each for faculty, staff and students. Parking and Transportation Services will assist the committee, but not oversee the group or run meetings, Collins said. The committee was officially approved on Jan. 16.
“It’s going to have equal representation from each one of those groups… each major segment of our population will be represented on the committee and have a voice,” said Bryan Makinen, executive director of Public Safety and Risk Management.
The committee will likely not hear any appeals this Friday, said Julie George, a committee member and EKU librarian. Instead, their first meeting will mostly focus on changing the appeal process and forming new bylaws.
“Once the operational aspects of it are determined and agreed upon, the appeals process will literally be almost rote in that you go through each appeal, one-by-one, and then the group—the body—votes on it,” Makinen said. “And then it either stands or goes to warning, or the ticket is eliminated.”
George said that in the past, it normally took a month to six weeks for an appeal to make its way through the process. Collins said it was hard to predict how long the process would take under the new committee.
The committee will have a backlog of appeals to dig into once they do begin the process again. Chad Cogdill, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication, filed an appeal to a parking ticket in October which has not been processed. Three months later, the request still reads “pending” in EKUDirect, he said.
Lesley Leroy, an adjunct professor in the same department, said she noticed a generous amount of first-week parking tickets for employees. After returning to her car in the Lancaster lot on Jan. 7, Leroy noticed that she, along with the majority of employees in the lot had been ticketed. She texted Krista Kimmel, a senior lecturer of communication studies and asked her to warn other faculty to update their permits.
”I would say the majority of the cars had tickets,” Leroy said.
Employees are required to renew their parking passes at the beginning of each calendar year, George said. On Jan. 10, Parking and Transportation Services sent out a notice in EKU Today reminding employees that they would be ticketed if they did not update their permits by Jan. 14. Not all employees read the notice, however.
”I read [EKU Today] on occasion, but I don’t necessarily read it every single day, so if I didn’t happen to read it the day that they published it in there, then I would miss it,” Leroy said.
Despite taking some employees by surprise, the lack of a grace period is nothing new.
“For the past couple years, give or take, we have had a standing procedure on campus of enforcement on the first day of classes,” Makinen said.
Makinen said the change, enacted by the Parking Advisory Committee a few years ago, came down to preventing the displacement of employees, commuters and residential students from their respective lots and any confusion that might ensue.
“If someone’s vehicle is expired, we really have no way of knowing ‘Was there a transfer, was there a sale?’” Makinen said. “Enforcement on the first day of classes helps all populations be in the right place at the right time, so that our lots and our usage are very predictable for those in-use populations...”
The only first-week exceptions existed for portions of the Kit Carson Lot and the side lot of Keene Hall, which were rezoned for Zones R and Z. Warnings were issued in those zones until Jan. 21.
Neither Makinen or Collins could speak to how many tickets had been issued this early in the semester, but said citation numbers had dropped over the past year. Both reiterated the point that compliance would never result in a ticket.
“Parking and Transportation would absolutely love to not have to write the first citation...they will never write a citation for somebody who is parked with their appropriate permit in the appropriate zone at the time that that zone is active,” Makinen said.
The Eastern Progress will follow up with more details on the development of the new Parking Appeals Committee.