For the first time at Northeast Texas Community College, parking permits for student, faculty and staff vehicles are not only being recommended, but required. While drivers received warnings the first two weeks of classes, campus security began issuing tickets on Sept. 10. The fine for parking without a permit is $15.
NTCC Security Coordinator Russell Taylor said parking permits help provide additional security for the students and staff. “Parking stickers are enforced at most colleges, so we’re a little behind the times on that,” Taylor said. “With the changes in our society and violence becoming more prevalent on campuses of all kinds, enforcing parking stickers is one way of making sure that who’s here is supposed to be here.”
While some members of the campus community say they are aware that permits are now being enforced, many said they do not know about the new regulation, despite the emails and verbal warnings that have repeatedly been issued since before the fall semester began.
“If everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to, then all the students have the opportunity to know they need a parking permit,” Taylor said.
Unlike most college campuses, NTCC’s parking permits are issued free of charge to both students and staff. Students, including those who live in the dorms, can pick up their parking permits in Student Services while employees receive their permits from the human resources department. Taylor said visitors to the campus are issued temporary passes in Student Services.
While some may consider the $15 fine a little too high, Taylor said that NTCC actually charges quite a bit less than many other schools.
“I know that compared to other colleges, our citations are cheaper,” Taylor said. “And, we don’t charge for our parking permits; most other colleges do.” While NTCC does not issue tickets for violations like speeding or expired registration stickers, Taylor said citations are issued for other parking offenses. Violators who park in the 30-minute visitor’s circle or the employee-only parking lot in front of the welding shop also receive a $15 fine, but a citation for parking in a firelane costs $30 and illegally parking in a handicap spot is a hefty $180.
Citations can be paid in the Student Services building. The price for a ticket does not increase if it is not paid in a certain amount of time, however, a second citation means another $15.
And, while students may assume that the citations are irrelevant, and they can avoid paying the fine, Taylor said the failure to comply with the parking permit requirement is taken seriously.
“A lot of people think ‘I don’t have to pay this.’ And, if you don’t ever want your college transcript, then you never have to pay it,” Taylor said. “But, if you ever want your transcript to transfer or graduate, just know that they hold your transcript until you pay all fines whether it’s a citation, your bills, your books, whatever.”