MU joins the ranks of Texas A&M University and the University of Kentucky by offering students an alternative method for settling parking citations.
Donations for Citations was enacted June 1, and it allows MU students to donate 10 full-size non-perishable items in lieu of paying the dollar amount. The donations will go to Tiger Pantry.
According to Tiger Pantry’s website, the most needed items are hygiene products, dry pasta, rice, pasta sauce, mac and cheese, canned tuna, canned chicken, boxed meals and canned beans.
There are limitations to the Donations for Citations program. For example, the program cannot be used more than three times a year and it cannot be used for citations over $25.
“We thought that three is a good number because you can use one per semester,” Solomon Davis, MSA senator and former Parking & Transportation Standing Committee member said. “A student can use the three at any time, so if they want to use all three during the fall semester they can go ahead and do that.”
The inspiration for the program came after a trip in which MSA members met with student government members at other universities.
“Basically, something a lot of other student governments were doing at their schools was an alternative form of payment when it comes to parking citations,” Davis said. So, some senators came back from the conference and said, “Why doesn’t Mizzou have one of these?”
The idea wasn’t proposed until the end of second semester, and the original idea was community service, where those who received parking citations would do community service hours to settle them.
“It took too much of an administrative hassle for them to do that,” Davis said. “So, I believe it was [former MSA president] Nathan Willett and [Michael] Sokoff and someone else that came up with the idea in this form of Donations for Citations.”
For sophomore Trey Cook, who has received several parking citations over the past few months, this program will be beneficial.
“I think that the university doesn’t really need the revenue from parking tickets, but the parking ticket is a good punishment or reprimand because it is so expensive,” Cook said. “Actually going into the office and taking your donations will be doing both that reprimanding and donating to a good cause.”
Along with MU students, Davis said this program will also serve the MU community as a whole.
“It also benefits the Mizzou community at large because that student who got that ticket is taking it upon themselves to use this alternative form of payment, they’re giving these 10 cans to Tiger Pantry,” Davis said. “That means someone in the larger MU community who’s food insecure is helped out and that’s potentially a constant source of donations for Tiger Pantry, which then exposes those students to Tiger Pantry and their mission.”
Edited by Stephi Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org