In collaboration with the Florida A&M University Department of Campus Safety and Security, the FAMU Office of Parking and Transportation is hosting a one-time amnesty program for faculty, staff and students with outstanding parking tickets until Dec. 15.
The amnesty program is a holiday-giving initiative that allows students to “adopt-a-family” and receive a 50 percent discount on their citations. This is the third year that this program has been offered.
Anyone that has tickets valued between $1 and $100 can bring a gift card or unwrapped toy in the amount of 25 dollars to clear all outstanding citations.
Tickets amounting between $101 and $200 dollars must donate a gift card or unwrapped toy in the amount of $50 to get $100 of your citations cleared.
The pattern continues as the citation amount owed increases.
Amber Mashack, a junior business administration student, will have all of her citations cleared from her account because of this amnesty program.
“I owed $100 to the university in tickets from last semester that needed to be paid soon,” Mashack said. “Now I will only have to pay $50 and then it will be cleared.”
The amnesty program will benefit the Big Bend Christmas Connection’s holiday toy drive. Allison McNealy, assistant director of parking and transportation, expressed the joy of giving back to this greater cause.
“We want to deliver toys and a little joy to the children and their families,” McNealy said. “This is a great opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to clear their outstanding tickets and spread some holiday cheer.”
Mashack also appreciates that the program is going to help families in need.
“I was going to have to pay the full thing. It’s definitely better because it’s half off and it is for a good cause so ultimately it is a win-win,” Mashack said.
McNealy stressed the importance of students taking advantage of this program because unpaid parking tickets can hold up the process for requesting official transcripts and even obtaining their degree.
Ea Desmarattes, a senior pre-occupational therapy student, is looking to graduate next semester, so she is thankful that she can have her account cleared before then.
“I’m graduating next semester, so with this program, I’ll be able to pay my tickets off at a discounted rate,” Desmarattes said. “I was worried that my balance due would hold me up.”
McNealy noticed that most citations on students’ accounts are from the beginning of the year.
“Students are either late with registering their vehicles and/or don’t realize that you must register your vehicle each academic year,” McNealy said.
Both Desmarattes and Mashack feel that forgiveness programs should be offered by parking services more often because of students’ tight budgets.
“The tickets can be overwhelming for college students with college budgets,”Mashack said. “I think all students should be able to take advantage of this because the tickets can be pricey for minor violations.”
The gift drop off location is the Department of Campus Safety and Security, located at 2400 Wahnish Way.