The faculty and students behind Montclair State Parking Services are infamously known for parking citations and are even blamed for the lack of parking on campus.
Staff members are constantly fending for themselves while working with furious students and dealing with constant threats. They say parking services is by far one of the most hostile departments on campus.
“For the most part we’re like that crazy, mean, evil hand that’s looming over the university, giving tickets, taking people’s money, and I understand. I was a broke college student too—I still am,” said Mariella Diaz, the professional service specialist at Montclair State.
Staff in the parking services department said no one realizes that they are actually real people, sometimes even students just doing their job, and have absolutely no control over the amount of space there is.
They are constantly replacing the door to their office because angry students kick, slam and pummel the door to death.
Montclair State Parking Services staff said that they are not out to get anyone on campus. They said their actual purpose is to provide everyone on campus with the guidance and help they need whenever dealing with a misunderstanding or a citation issue.
“We have sympathy, but the reality is, we’re trying to manage a space for 20,000 students,” said Diaz. “We have about 7,000 permits that are out, and there’s usually three vehicles to one space.”
If anyone receives a parking citation and feels that they have a good reason as to why they shouldn’t receive it, there’s some good news.
“Last year I was accumulating tickets and it was pretty serious. I had about 13 tickets,” said Rebecca Innocent, a senior sociology major. “I came here, and Mariella was really helpful. She helped me get a parking pass so I could stop getting tickets, and that’s how I ended up getting this job to help pay off these tickets.”
The appeals process gives anyone who’s received a citation the chance to defend themselves and get their point across.
“People are angry when they get tickets. That’s why the appeals process is good because we hear them out and help them out,” said Raul Igartua, campus events coordinator and former ticket administer.
The administrators and staff of parking services stressed the importance of communication and that the way students can communicate is through the appeals process. They even admit that the first time someone appeals a ticket, the person is given a little free-bee.
“I’ve gotten tickets, and I have to appeal just like everyone else. I don’t get special treatment just because I work here,” said Laurie Osias, a senior accounting major, who was also having issues with getting constant parking tickets. “Students can always appeal tickets,”she continued. “That’s the number one thing I recommend.”
There is also a free app that can help anyone on campus find a parking space. “I strongly encourage students to download The Parker App, which can help students find parking spaces even before they get to campus,” said Diaz. “It’s updated every hour, and I’m surprised that no one’s using it.”
To learn more about parking and view the regulations, visit montclair.edu/parking.