Editor, Daily Nexus:
Most students who drive and park on campus have had some sort of conflict or confrontation with Parking Services. I am included in this group. Over my four-and-a-half years at UCSB, I have received a few tickets, as most students do, for missing the meter by a minute or running in to drop something off. I have fought tickets twice. This morning was my hearing for an appeal of a ticket that I felt was issued unfairly. I am not bitter about losing the money – it was $30 and I will survive without it. I want to tell you about my experience with Bill Bean, who is the hearing examiner and UCPD police captain.
I explained my issue to Bean and told him the reasons in which I felt the situation was unclear. Bean not only refused to consider my side; he managed to belittle me in the process. He evaded the issues I was explaining and persistently explained that I was not parked in a marked stall (a point that I never once tried to argue) and went on to explain to me what a marked stall looked like – “two white lines” or “a cross of white lines along the curbside.” He even went so far as to tell me that one cannot park against red curbs (I was not parked near a red curb). He explained these facts like I was a child who had just jumped behind the wheel of a car. I was shocked that a hearing examiner would be so condescending. I went into the hearing knowing that I would probably lose, not because I didn’t think my point was valid, but because of past experiences with Parking Services. Bean barely addressed the discrepancies and inconsistencies I pointed out and explained things to me that any driver would know.
I could continue to fight this ticket, however, the next step involves paying a $35 filing fee – my ticket is only $30, so it hardly seems worth it. The money isn’t my motivation; it’s about being treated with respect. I hope this letter does not discourage people from fighting tickets they feel are unjust, however, I do have a few recommendations for you: Do not write in your appeal; make an appointment with a hearing examiner – this way you can defend your argument. Second, go in with the mindset that you are just trying to be heard. Third, if he belittles you, call him on it – I did.
And to Bill Bean: When students come into your office to fight for something they believe is just, I strongly encourage you treat them with more respect. Maybe if you listened more, we could improve the system that so many students and faculty have become frustrated with.