Parking Services is giving students, faculty and staff the opportunity to pay for their parking citations by donating to the Red Hawk Pantry.
The Inaugural Spring Parking Citation Food Drive started on March 1 and will continue through March 25. Each unopened can, non-perishable item, dry good or necessity item is worth $10 toward an open citation. For more information on what to donate, visit the university website.
Parking Services will be collecting donations at the Parking Services Office, located on the first level of the Red Hawk Deck, Monday through Friday from 12-4 p.m.
Only one citation can be dismissed through donations and some citations are ineligible for this program, including tampering with university equipment, shared permit or boot violation, parked in a fire lane or persons with disabilities space violation and parking in reserved space, grass or sidewalk.
Parking Services has recently come under fire after The Montclarion reported that Montclair State made over $1 million in parking tickets over the past three years. However, Ben Omuya, director of parking services, said the drive was not in response to the recent controversy.
“We had the plans to introduce the food drive every semester prior to this semester,” Omuya said.
Omuya also explained why Parking Services issues citations.
“Allowing vehicles to illegally park inconveniences the majority of the legitimate users and in some cases, might impede vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances from accessing specific areas in case of an emergency,” Omuya said.
Briana Ampadu, a senior public health major, shared her support for the food drive.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Ampadu said. “It’s helping the food pantry.”
Nick Vecchione, a senior English major, said the food drive is a good alternative to paying for parking citations.
“The canned goods [drive] sounds like, maybe not permanent, but a nice temporary solution to this problem,” Vecchione said.
While Vecchione supports the food drive, he also voiced concerns about Parking Services policies.
“If they want to stop handing out so many parking tickets, they should first [make] more parking spaces itself because CarParc Diem is hell,” Vecchione said. “They should also make the parking [permits] themselves more affordable.”