Network problems disrupt parking, ticketing procedures

As a result of the network problems the College has experienced in recent weeks, a miscommunication developed that caused some students to receive tickets for “lack of a valid decal” on Aug. 26.

The miscommunication between Parking Services and Campus Police occurred because of a system error, Ray Nesci, professional services specialist for Campus Police, said.

Computer worms and viruses, such as the Blaster worm, which have plagued computer networks across the country as well as at the College, caused a disruption in the system that controls access to the parking lots on campus.

Nesci said the College had to raise all the gates in all gated lots so that the appropriate personnel would have access. Some unauthorized vehicles also parked in the unguarded lots across campus.

In addition to network problems, there were unexpected delays in students receiving their parking decals.

“I woke up early to get my decal on Aug. 25, and I went and stood in line for 20 minutes,” Dave Nicotera, sophomore early childhood education major, said. “They didn’t have it, and they made me sign a list and write down my phone number.”

“One would think that meant they were going to call me,” Nicotera said. “But one would be wrong.”

One student who received a ticket was Dan Dougherty, sophomore communication studies major.

“I parked in the Forcina deck; the Centennial staff told us it was OK to park there, since ticketing wasn’t supposed to start until the next week,” Dougherty said.

“So I parked my car on Sunday, overnight, and got my decal on Monday, and when I came back to move it, I had a ticket,” he said.

Dana Thorgensen, sophomore secondary Spanish education major, was ticketed for parking in Lot 12, a faculty lot, on Aug. 25.

“We talked to a Community Advisor (CA) that parked there as well, and he attempted to clear it up,” Thorgensen said.

In total, approximately 150 people were issued tickets that day, mostly in faculty/staff lots, according to Campus Police.

“On move in day, we told people they could park in the deck,” Phil Furia, sophomore political science major and a CA in Centennial, said.

Campus Police was notified of the problem the same day the ticketing occurred, and stopped issuing tickets for lacking a valid decal, unauthorized parking in a faculty/staff lot and unauthorized parking in a resident/student lot, according to Nesci.

“There is a rule that you cannot park in a faculty/staff lot without a decal. That rule is in effect 365 days a year. It can’t really be relaxed,” Kathleen Ragan, director of Student Financial Services, which Parking services is a part of, said.

However, due to the problems encountered with the computer network and students’ inability to get their decals on time, “it was determined that those tickets issued would be voided,” Nesci said.

“Campus Police and Parking Services worked together to address the problem in the best way possible, and blame does not lie with any office,” Nesci said.

A campus-wide e-mail was distributed on Aug. 29, informing students of the situation.

Ticketing for lack of a valid decal was pushed back until Friday, Sept. 5 for all students, and Monday, Sept. 15 for all faculty and staff.

However, ticketing for all other parking violations is in effect at all times, according to an e-mail, sent from the office of Administrative and Environmental Services.