A parking war of sorts has erupted on the campus of Glendale Community College, where 6,000 day students and 5,000 night students compete for about 1,200 spaces in five parking lots.
Despite protests from faculty and a student representative, the college's Board of Trustees last week gave campus security officers--mostly students in law enforcement courses--the right to issue parking citations that will be handled by Glendale Municipal Court. Previously, city police had to be called onto campus to issue citations, an action rarely taken.
The board's 4-1 vote quickly caused battle lines to be drawn on the campus, which is normally placid during summer.
"There seems to be quite an uproar over this," said Michael W. Southerland, campus safety manager.
A Way of Life
Administrators say illegal parking has become too much of a way of life on campus and violators deprive others, such as handicapped students, of needed spaces. Summoning city police to issue tickets was time consuming and did not seem to be solving the problem, college officials said.
"I believe that ticketing the illegal parkers will help solve some of the parking problem," said Robert Holmes, board president.
Opponents of the new policy say it will force local municipal courts to deal with an internal campus problem and leave students and faculty open to excessive fines. What's worse, they claim, is that the new regulations will force them to park in residential neighborhoods, which already object to their presence. And, some opponents say, students will have to walk to their cars after dark, posing a safety problem.
Tickets 'Won't Help Any'
"It's the law, but what do they want us to do?" asked Riichiro Kosughe, a psychology major. "If you get to school at 9 o'clock, there's nowhere to park. Getting ticketed won't help any."
The college has no parking facilities for students other than 60 spaces reserved for handicapped students within a faculty and staff parking lot near the campus center, which has 229 spaces. A smaller lot near the science building has 48 spaces for faculty and staff.
Most students rely on one of five city-owned parking lots near campus. Four of the lots have a total of about 900 spaces that are free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, according to city officials. The fifth lot, which is adjacent to the Glendale Civic Auditorium, has 229 metered spaces.
Many students and staff park in red zones along campus drives.
Jean Lecuyer, Faculty Senate president, said he has had to park in a red zone to unload teaching materials at the physics building and has used spaces designated for the handicapped on weekends when the campus is empty.
If Lecuyer had been given a traffic ticket each time he parked illegally, the fines would have equaled a large share of his salary, he said. The faculty will debate the new policy in September and make recommendations about enforcement, Lecuyer said.
Classified employees also are upset about the new policy, according to Jean Reese, president of the California School Employees Assn. Local 76, which represents classified employees.
Overzealous Student Officers
"We certainly are not asking to be allowed to park illegally," Reese said. "But we are worried that the students giving the tickets might become overzealous."
To calm this fear, Southerland, the campus safety manager, said he will propose that only the four senior members of the 15-student, part-time security force be empowered to ticket violators. He said he will propose that a security officer be required to have the ticket signed by Southerland or the dean of student activities before it is issued.
The tougher ticket policy is scheduled to begin in fall, but probably will not start until spring semester, Southerland said. Until then, student officers will enter training sessions.
The 23 applicable traffic regulations carry fines ranging from $10 for leaving a car parked on campus overnight to $75 for reckless driving. Under state law, half of each fine will be credited to the college's parking budget.
The Glendale College policy is based on fines assessed by courts for the same violations.
There will be a publicity campaign to make students aware of the policy and a 30-day grace period during which warning tickets will be issued, he said.
Trustee Phillip Kazanjian, who cast the lone vote against the policy at last week's board meeting, likened it to "shooting a fly with a cannon."
"People aren't looking to break the law, but they need somewhere to park. The board is not looking at the big picture," he said in an interview.
Sparks flew at the meeting when board president Holmes characterized Kazanjian, a longtime advocate of increased parking facilities, and other protesters as "lily-livered."
"How many warning tickets do you get for parking on the red zone on Brand Boulevard?" Holmes asked, referring to Glendale's north-south thoroughfare.
"This is not Brand Boulevard," Kazanjian retorted.
New Lots Too Expensive