Campus Safety collected $44,000 in ticket fines last year

Photo courtesy calvin.edu

Photo courtesy calvin.edu

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Campus Safety issued over 2,800 tickets during the 2017-2018 school year, resulting in over $44,000 in fees for Calvin students and staff. The number of parking permits issued has stayed fairly constant at 2,500 permits a year.

The ticket count is actually lower than previous years. The year prior, Campus Safety issued 3,501 tickets. From 2011 to 2016, Campus Safety issued more than 4,000 tickets every year.

Campus Safety Director Bill Corner credits the drop to students being more mindful of parking rules.

Tickets vary from $15 to $50. More serious offenses like having a vehicle on campus without registration or parking in a handicapped parking spot warrant the $50 fine. Corner said that they purposefully keep the registration fines high in order to discourage students from believing they could pay less in fines than for a ticket. The city of Grand Rapids has $100 fines for parking in handicapped parking, which they occasionally enforce on Calvin’s campus.

The money from fines goes to Calvin’s operating fund. All of the money that Calvin takes in, whether that be tuition, donations or parking tickets, ends up in the same operating fund,  which is then allocated to different parts of campus according to the budget. Campus Safety officers receive no commission on tickets they issue.

Campus Safety officers also do not have ticket quotas that they must fulfill. Corner laughed at the idea. “If we had quotas, there’d be a lot more tickets issued than what there are. … If there were a quota system, I’d have officers just non-stop sitting at stop signs and writing tickets for students and employees.”

Corner said that Campus Safety could make a lot of money off people not stopping at the stop signs on campus; however, they do not have the staffing to make that possible. He also does not think that recent budget cuts will result in starting a quota system.