More Boots Angry Students; Officials Aim To Resolve Parking Issues

More Boots Angry Students; Officials Aim To Resolve Parking Issues

Officials at the Mercy College Dobbs Ferry Campus continue the drive to alleviate parking problems and issued a blitz of tickets on March 5 that involved the booting of close to 20 vehicles.

As a number of drivers returned to their vehicles, they were greeted with a bright orange colored surprise that they could do without; an immobilization boot clamped to their right rear tire. Along with the boot, there is a label attached to the driver’s side glass with instructions on what is needed in order for the boot to be removed.

Glenn Marchi, Director of Operations explained the procedure that the school has in place for booting a vehicle as the following.

The booting is handled by an agency that is contracted by the school. If security notices after their patrols that there are vehicles that should be booted, then the company (currently Alex Towing Inc of Tarrytown) is notified:

The tow company officials are escorted by school security representatives on campus to the offending vehicle and the boot is placed. Security takes the information regarding the vehicle so that there is a record of what is happening and keeps it on file. At this point, the owner of the vehicle must contact the tow company and pay the fee of $69.79 plus taxes to have the boot removed.

According to Marchi, the school does not get any of the revenue from these actions.

He also says that ticketing an illegally parked vehicle on campus is not meant to be punitive in nature.

“With space being at a premium, it is important that we all work to ensure that everyone works together to keep order when it comes to parking on campus.”

Marchi goes on to explain how and why tickets are issued and vehicles are possibly booted.

“Cars are never booted without warning first. We first ticket vehicles parked where they are not supposed to be and a vehicle only gets booted if the driver has multiple tickets that have not been addressed.”

The school  has sent out numerous emails, posted flyers at campus resident dwellings, and made sure that each RA  has the information addressing where students are allowed to park.

There are three categories of parking registration identifiers; non-resident commuters, resident, and one for students who own vehicles and reside at one of the off campus hotels.

All vehicles that park on campus should be identified with some type of school parking registraion. Visitors should obtain a parking permit from Main Hall.

Marchi says that resident students have a designated area to park their cars and it is the “R-Lot.” He acknowledges that there have been complaints from students regarding the R-lot. Proximity to the dorms and late night safety concerns have been a top complaint, but the school is taking steps to  improve the situation.

“Since January of this year, we have started a service for students to use. Just call 914-0674-7225 and security will give you a ride from the R-lot.”

Marchi also says that in response to resident student concerns about safety at the R-lot, there are two emergency call phones and approval has been given to install surveillance cameras that will be monitored 24 hours.

“Student safety comes first, and we are listening to their needs to try and improve their experience at the college.”

Anne C. Gilmartin is the Director of Human Resources/Safety and Security. She oversees the entire security and parking program. Gilmartin recognizes that there are challenges to working out the best courses of action to take in regard to both the parking situation and safety on campus.

“We are looking for an equitable solution to some difficult problems. Student safety is the number one policy I am concerned with.”

Gilmartin is looking to institute a program in which students and the campus community can have a more direct way of communicating concerns directly to her for a faster way to address and solve both existing and potential problems.

“I want to be able to address issues quickly and reduce any potential stress to students here at Mercy.”