By Alex Mosher

University of Nevada, Reno student, Kevin Morgan, is not a fan of UNR parking services. “They [parking services] don’t realize students are already paying a shitload of money to go to UNR,” Morgan said. “And the last thing we should be worried about is if I’m going to get a ticket after buying a parking pass that’s $280.”

On January 28, Morgan said he walked up to his car parked near the National Judicial College to find two white slips of paper resting in the corner of his window. The first one read, “Pursuant to UNR Parking and Traffic regulations, you have been issued a citation.” The other slip, printed one minute later read, “This is a COURTESY WARNING…”

Having recently purchased a $280 silver parking pass, Morgan said he was confused, since he parked in an area that was labeled as a silver parking zone, and because he had been issued a warning and a citation at the same time. Immediately, Morgan drove over to UNR parking services to address his situation, but he said he was turned down by the front desk staff on the basis that he should have known better. There are several silver parking zones on campus, but those with a silver permit are only allowed to park in the area that is stated on the front of their permits.

Morgan’s stated “West Stadium.” “It’s completely confusing,” Morgan said. “Why can’t they just make it a different color?” Frustrated, Morgan called his mother who purchased the parking pass for him.

She agreed with Morgan that the zoning seems confusing and decided to call parking services. After 20 minutes speaking with parking services, Morgan’s mother got the citation waived. “That just summarizes to me that they don’t respect the students,” Morgan said.

Students who don’t agree with their citations have the option to appeal their tickets. Michelle Horton, assistant director of parking and transportation services, said she tries to be fair when she decides which citations should be waived and which should not. Out of the 735 appeals filed last year, 347 were approved.

“I’m very fair,” Horton said. “I read the appeal and look at their account. I look to see if they’ve received tickets in the past, or if I’ve ever voided any. I consider every case scenario. If they have numerous meter violations and I’ve voided a few of them previously then it’s probably not likely.”

Horton said most of the appeals she receives are from students who have received a meter citation because they got delayed on campus. Out of the 14,000 citations that parking services wrote last school year, 8,000 of them were meter violations.

Horton said she has already seen a decrease in the number of meter violations this year as students become more aware of the temporary parking permit dispensers on campus; such as the two machines located in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union, on UNR’s largest metered lot.

Just last year, parking services brought in $376,000 from meters and $422,000 in citation revenue. According to Horton, all of the revenue generated goes directly back to parking services. This self funded department also funds the shuttles and maintains the parking lots and parking machines, but most of its money goes to paying off the parking garages on campus.

West Stadium itself was 28 million according to Horton. Of the revenue parking services generated last year, 45 percent was put towards paying off the bond debt from the Sierra, West Stadium and Whalen garages. Horton said although 14,000 citations were printed last year, 13,000 warnings were also printed.

“We’re here to educate students,” Horton said. “I know that sometimes people feel like parking is only out to enforce the rules. While we’re out there to do that, we’re also out to educate. During the first week of school, all we issue is warnings. We try and explain the rules.”

But with new construction projects being introduced on campus, parking services will have to reevaluate parking spaces on campus. The 200 short-term parking spaces in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union slated to be replaced by the new fitness center are in one such parking area that will be affected.

“Over the next eight years, the university will initiate several large construction projects which will impact the number of parking spaces on campus,” Horton said. According to Horton, beginning this month, the university’s master plan will begin undergoing changes to address these issues. Horton said an easy fix to the parking space issue would be to build another garage, but because garages are so expensive, park ing permit fees would have to increase.

In the meantime, Horton said she’s open to questions, concerns and recommendations from students. “I’m always willing to listen to what the students have to say, and hopefully provide options for them to park,” Horton said. “I want it to be a pleasant four years for them.”

Alex Mosher can be reached at amosher@