Illegal Legal Parking As their school makes nice with whiny neighbors, A.U. students face ticketing for perfectly legal parking.

Ticked Off: Hanna Kiskaddon’s Zone 3 parking sticker hasn’t protected her from tickets when she parks near A.U.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery

The next time you plan to head to Tenleytown, Spring Valley, or American University Park, remember to remove any books from your backseat, or collegiate-looking stickers from your car.

Otherwise, if you park on the street, you may find a $75 ticket from American University’s campus police on your windshield.

The university prohibits any students, staff, faculty, visitors, or other “affiliates” from parking anywhere in American’s vicinity unless it’s a university lot—even if the car is in two-hour parking for less than two hours, or has a Zone 3 parking sticker. Which is to say, even if it’s otherwise 100 percent in compliance with every parking law or regulation on the District’s books.

And don’t bother asking the school to tell you exactly where its own parking regulations trump D.C. law. When Washington City Paper asked its campus public safety director, Michael McNair, to define what streets A.U. considers in its vicinity, McNair declined, calling the question “irrelevant.”

“We don’t disclose what areas are ticketed,” he says. “Quite frankly the rule speaks for itself. If they are conducting A.U. business, they must park on campus or take public transportation. Where we ticket for violation of this rule is again irrelevant.”

For American University, arousing the ire of its Ward 3 neighbors is a constant hazard—lest they or the local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions start to cause trouble for the university with city officials. And on the leafy roads surrounding the campus, one of the quickest ways to summon an angry crowd of neighbors to a community meeting is to disrupt their easy access to free parking near their homes. (In fact, the Zoning Commission ordered American to minimize parking disruption before approving its last campus expansion.) So the university has tried to keep its immediate area free of any on-street evidence that the school exists at all.

The problem with a policy that bans A.U. “affiliates” from parking legally in public parking spaces, of course, is that determining which cars are university “affiliates” is an imperfect science. Tenleytown’s neighborhood email list abounds with stories of campus police workers blanket-ticketing the area.

“I found the ticket issuer and asked why he had ticketed my car,” reads one typical message. “He said ‘Well, I can’t tell who’s a resident and who’s a student, so I ticket everyone.’ Sure enough, every single car in the vicinity of my house had a ticket on it.”

The official rules, as it happens, aren’t much more exact. “We look for evidence that the person is affiliated,” McNair says. That evidence ranges from books in the backseat to a university sticker, or out-of-state plates. (Which, obviously, carry their own restrictions when it comes to D.C. street parking.)

Those who are wrongly ticketed can appeal the decision. After proving to campus police they weren’t visiting American, they can have their tickets voided. (Ticket recipients who have no affiliation with American at all can either contact police to prove that—or, since the school has no enforcement powers, just ignore the tickets.)

McNair says the university uses a variety of tactics to enforce tickets—including doubling fees, booting vehicles, and referring non-payers to a collections agency.

“Of course if the person is not affiliated with A.U., the ticket is voided once we are notified of the non-affiliation,” he says.

However, for those who are affiliates of A.U.—even those with Zone 3 parking stickers—the process gets much murkier. “I’ve parked near the [Tenleytown] Metro, gone on the Metro and gotten a ticket,” says Hanna Kiskaddon, a university junior. She’s also been ticketed by A.U. when visiting her boyfriend (another A.U. student, who lives on 43rd Place NW) or running errands. So far, she’s gotten seven.

Those tickets aren’t even supposed to be written, because Kiskaddon wasn’t near campus on campus business, according to McNair’s explanation of the policy. But that doesn’t make it much easier to dodge them.

“Once I got up to a certain amount, I started getting warning tickets with no fees—I don’t know what that means,” Kiskaddon says. “When I talked to my mom—a traffic court lawyer—she suggested I put a note in my window next to the Zone 3 pass saying ‘This is a D.C.-issued pass that gives me unrestricted parking in areas for Zone 3.’”

The city, though,won’t help get residents out of trouble with the university. “If they’re writing something for the violation of a university regulation,” then there is no issue, says John Lisle, a spokesman for the D.C. Department of Transportation. “It sounds like the university is trying to be a good neighbor… and this is how they’ve chosen to enforce it.”

The policy doesn’t just impact students, either. Laura Beers, a professor at American, says she once parked under a two-hour parking sign to go check her mail, and found a ticket on her window 15 minutes later. “They have a sort of guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude,” she says. “They’ll ticket you and if you can produce evidence that they shouldn’t have ticketed you, they’ll rescind the ticket.”

Beers jokes she’ll just go to Starbucks every time she visits campus. “If I had a receipt from Starbucks and could produce the receipt, then A.U. would rescind the ticket,” she says.

American wasn’t the first school to impose a “Good Neighbor” parking policy. George Washington University imposed a similar policy after absorbing Mount Vernon College in 1999. G.W. students, faculty, staff, and vendors have to use on-campus parking when visiting the school’s campus off Foxhall Road.

But neighbors gripe that G.W.’s campus police don’t take a strong line on enforcing that policy. “They do enforce it occasionally,” says Ann Heuer, a nearby resident and an Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the Foxhall area. “But you don’t see it very often.”

Sometimes officials from the campus come out and tell professors they should move their cars, Heuer says. But that’s about it.

“We really don’t have that much of a parking issue [around Foxhall],” she says. “But it’s the principle of it—they’re not supposed to park on our streets.”

American was given a similar “Good Neighbor” directive in a 2005 Zoning Commission order, as part of the university’s last expansion. Georgetown’s local ANC encouraged Georgetown University to put similar rules in place at its last expansion plan hearing.

But while G.W. has taken to putting leaflets explaining the policy on suspiciously parked cars (with students referred to judicial affairs for repeated infractions, and staff and faculty members brought before their supervisors), American has taken to enforcing the rule with $75 fines. It also extends the prohibition to guests and visitors of the university, something the 2005 order encouraged, but never required.

Parking on campus, however, can be expensive—an annual parking pass for a student costs $964, while one for a full-time staff member costs $1,404. G.W. charges its faculty and staff at the Mount Vernon Campus $1,560.

Georgetown doesn’t provide student parking at all.

East of Rock Creek Park, prices are lower. The Catholic University of America charges an annual fee of $415 for surface parking (and $500 for garage parking), with that price decreasing as the academic year progresses. Howard University charges its students an annual fee of $240, and its faculty and staff $300 for a non-reserved space. (A reserved space bumps the price up to $400.)

Many A.U. students say their price is way too high—especially if, as far as the District is concerned, they’re legally allowed to park on the street.

“It’s atrocious,” says Julia Imbriaco, a senior at American (and a Zone 3 permit holder). “It costs way more than a student could ever pay.”

But many of the school’s neighbors in Ward 3 say they’d like to see more enforcement of the policy, not less.

Judith Berson, who lives immediately next to American’s campus, in Westover Place, says campus police need to issue more tickets.

“They do not enforce the policy,” she says. “Our guests don’t have places to park… it becomes the neighbors’ responsibility to bring it up to the university.”

Berson says she and her neighbors have taken their own steps to enforce the parking ban—Westover Place restricts parking to residents of the condos in the complex. “We hired a daytime guard in order to keep our spaces safe,” she says.

After all, Berson says, she’s entitled to her space.

“If you buy a townhouse, you get a parking space,” she says. “Unless someone takes it.”

Our Readers Say

Whats puzzling to me is who, what give the AU Rent A Cops the authority to write tickets on public streets? Is this condone by the city? What the hell is the Ward 3 Councilperson doing? Does the money go to the city or to AU? Those Ward 3 people are just going along with what I see as an ouragious policy.
So if you are a student or faculty member and live in a home/apartment near the school they will still ticket you for parking legally with a zone 3 sticker? Isn't that what a zone 3 sticker is for??? Not to mention all of the other non AU people who undoubtedly have to deal with the hassle of receiving these BS tickets. How is this allowed to go on?
While this sounds ridiculous on its face, I see why it's done. I'm sure there are plenty of AU people who live in Ward 3 but still drive to campus every day. You could live 15-20 minutes away from campus and still have a Zone 3 sticker. And many of the residential areas in Ward 3 are pretty far from Metro (Chevy Chase, Palisades, Foxhall, etc.) It's easy to believe that the streets around AU would get clogged with commuters (even from within Ward 3) who are just trying to avoid having to pay for on-campus parking.

A better solution would be to break Zone 3 into multiple sub-zones. This way, people who actually live near AU would be able to park near their home without fear of being ticketed, and people who drive to campus every day would have to park in a campus garage.
I totally agree with JL (Hell, I am one of those zone 3 people who drives in to take advantage of MY zone 3 parking abilities). Those same zone 3 people who live near AU are more than welcome to come park in front of my house if they want to eat out in Glover Park on Wisconsin Ave. Until the city breaks Zone 3 apart I am MORE than legal and obliged to park within that territory, simple as that.
I kind of can't believe the resident's around here who want more ticketing. You would think someone who lives around here would be smart enough to make the connection between a college right across from their home and college students needing sensible and legal parking options. This school has been here longer than any of them have been alive. And they've probably got the resources to move considering the area. Just saying.
I agree with Amanda. When you move into an area with a university that has been there since 1890, you need to take parking into consideration. The residents that live in this neighborhood are mean and nasty to students, often taking it upon themselves to try and "catch" students parking around their house.
When you purchase a home, you take all the factors into consideration, and this is a major factor. Also, I happen to know a few people who live in that area, and the parking is no harder to come by than any other area of town- we live in a city, parking is sometimes hard. Deal with it!
American University brings students, faculty and guests from all over the world, who spend money in this city and at local businesses in that neighborhood. For residents to be up in arms about this parking issue is unfair, especially since the university charges outrageous amounts for their parking passes.
American University needs to lower parking costs so that students can afford to park on campus and eliminate this turf war. The parking lots at the university are NEVER even halfway full, even during peak hours for classes. Obviously no one wants to pay for that lot. And charging $75 for a ticket isn't helping either- no one is paying those tickets. The city only charges $25 for a ticket, but AU is going to get on their high horse and charge $75?
Bottom line, this parking rule is ridiculous, illegal and needs to stop. American University does not have a higher authority than the government.
One more thing - the burden of proof here is on the person who receive the ticket- you are guilty until proven innocent. That's not how things are supposed to work here. Why should I have to go through the hassle of sending in my Starbucks receipt so AU can void the ticket? I have better things to do. And what's going to happen the next time I park and go to Starbucks? I'll get another ticket.
Why would AU guards have any authority to do anything on public streets outside the campus? If anything, they should be prosecuted for impersonating police officers. In the area around GWU, a much more congested urban campus, if campus police see a car parked illegally on the street in a way that causes problems (like blocking an entrance), they will call the D.C. police and a D.C. officer writes the ticket. GWU cops don't carry personal ticket books. AU guards shouldn't be allowed to step off campus, let alone write tickets. And the current residential parking restrictions are plenty strong enough to protect residents' spaces. When violations occur it's the D.C. police or parking control staff that should be writing the tickets.

This is hardly new. I went to AU Law School 15 years ago and the fine then was $250 for parking within the vicinity of the law school. When you decide to go to the school, you agree to abide by its rules. This is one of them.

Judith Berson: “If you buy a townhouse, you get a parking space,” she says. “

Wrong. Your purchase price did not include any part of any public street. Townhouse owners in Capitol Hill, Adams Morgan and all over the real D.C. are laughing themselves silly at Ms. Berson's self-absorbed delusions. Maybe the real issue is that this wealthy enclave is full of people who are accustomed to getting whatever they want whenever they want it.

Although it occurs to me that this might be a revenue opportunity for the city. Suppose homeowners COULD buy the right to a guaranteed, restricted, personal space at their front door? The city could charge $100,000 a space (which is roughly the price difference between a D.C. house with a driveway and a similar house without one), and in this neighborhood people would probably write checks without blinking.

I think Ms. Berson is talking about the parking SPACES which are reserved within the complex. This is hardly the same as public street parking.
If people are parking illegally on private property, then the property owner is entitled to have the cars towed away at the owner's expense, no different from any other private lot, and if that happened a few times the word would get around. But AU guards have no authority to do anything off their campus, and in fact are neglecting campus security while they are patrolling somebody else's property. It looks like AU is trying to force people to buy overpriced parking on its own lots, even when the residential parking restrictions permit them to park elsewhere.
So, I'm one of the people who lives 15-20 minutes away from campus and still drives in to class. Sorry, but a 20 minute hike completely uphill from Glover Park is not something I'm too keen about taking when I have an easy and legal option available to me (my car). I rode the bus (N8) for a semester, but its unreliability and the fact that it is so poorly kept to schedule really dissuaded me from using it after about 3 months. So now, I just drive. I've never gotten one of these tickets for parking in the metered spots along New Mexico, but I also have no overt displays of my AU grad student status. If I got one of these tickets and just ignored it, I wonder what would happen? How would they even know who I was? I guess they could look up my license plate, get my name from it, then cross-check the student database, but that seems like a lot of trouble for Campus PD to go to on my part.
CNR: "... How would they even know who I was? I guess they could look up my license plate..."

That's actually an interesting question. License plates are not public records. They are available to officials for law enforcement and other purposes, but civilians can't run plates on their own. So if these tickets are just ignored, do they evaporate? Or does AU have access to DC DMV records that allow them to identify AU students? If so, who authorized it, under what laws? Or is AU doing something shady under the table?

Of course, the homeowners in AU Park and Spring Valley are not shy about using their Zone 3 sticker to park near the Cleveland Park and Tenleytown Metro stations.
This issue affects more than just students who may be able to afford to pay parking rates but choose not to. Since the "good neighbor" policy also applies to staff of the university, workers who are underpaid to begin with are forced to cough up up to 6% of their already incredibly low salaries to park on AU's campus. For some of these workers, including shuttle bus drivers and janitorial workers with late night shifts, taking public transportation is not an option. The solution to this problem is not to ticket more or less, but to lower parking rates. Every day, a large number of parking spots are left empty in the Nebraska parking lot, and it would be in the best interest of the university to lower their rates to fill these spots and get the neighborhood to stop hating them.
Ethan I totally agree with you. American University needs to see that the answer to their "good neighbor" problem is reducing the price of a parking pass, not giving tickets!
Just to answer some of your questions about AU Public Safety's authority, there are different classes of officers on campus. Some are in fact fully trained and authorized members of MPD, others have partial training and authority, and still others are basically private security guards. So they definitely have access to info like plate numbers, and since they are only leaving disciplinary tickets (not legal summonses), I don't think they have any issues with jurisdiction.

That said, the policy is ridiculous. I think the sub-zone idea mentioned above might be a good solution, as well as AU lowering its outrageous parking rates.
rob bot: "... fully trained and authorized members of MPD, ... So they definitely have access to info like plate numbers ..."

This raises even more questions. Police officers have been disciplined for accessing DMV records improperly ("let's check out that cute chick in the Lexus ..."). If DC cops are on campus as part of their assigned police duties, they work for the MPD, not AU. And if AU is paying them to work off-duty as private security, there are limits to what they can do for their employer (and they STILL ultimately answer to the MPD). If AU is accessing DMV records to impose private fines on its students and employees, what laws authorize this? If people are parking illegally on private property, they deserve to be towed away. But if people are parking legally on public streets, AU has no right to make its own laws and have the DMV help enforce them. AU has a pretty good law school. Maybe shutting this operation down should be a student project.
when i was a law student at AU 10 years ago, i think we had to provide our license plate numbers to the school. i parked across the street in the metered parking sometimes (in front of starbucks on Mass), and never got a ticket despite having NY plates and an AU sticker at the time. i think that some of my friends and i did receive notes on our cars about parking in the neighborhood, but no tickets.

I still have the AU sticker, but now have DC plates and I've never been ticketed despite visiting the area near the law school on a regular basis.
Just as residents in the neighborhood have a right to street parking, students have a right as well! Students that attend American University automatically become residents of that neighborhood as well. They have every right to park on the street, just as any other law-abiding, rent-paying resident does.
The real problem is that American University is a money-hungry business, mascarading as a liberal arts institution of higher education.
Just as an FYI, and speaking from personal experience, when you hit 3-4 tickets they can and do in fact run your plates. If the car isn't registered in your name, you're fine, but if it is you can expect an email and a registration hold.

As to the legality of the process, it probably kicked in about 7-8 years ago when DC passed expanded authority for campus policing programs. With the exception of carrying firearms, campus police at the District universities are now granted significantly more latitude in their policing powers - up to and including involuntary detainment (i.e. de-facto arrests, while they wait for actual metro to get there). It is no surprise to me that they've given the universities access to the DMV databases.
Ms. Berson sounds like the typical haughty NW DC resident. You bought a house in the vicinity of a COLLEGE campus, so be a good neighbor and deal with it. As an AU graduate, I remember there being plenty of parking spaces for my "neighbors" as I overpaid to park in a lot at an overpriced university.
I simply observe again that GWU and Georgetown, much more congested urban campuses that also have their own guards (I don't think "police" for non-sworn private security is really the right word here), don't write private parking tickets on public streets. It really looks like AU is trying to push its captive audience into its own high-priced lots. Maybe the solution to the resident/student parking conflicts would be to require AU to provide FREE parking to all students and employees.
The solution Ward 2 suggests would be great, but even then the neighbors would complain. It would cause gridlock around the University. They already say that now, and that's their biggest complaint with the upcoming campus plan. When given the choice between supporting the AU community or the neighbors, AU picks the neighbors. The upcoming campus plan, and all the fluff complaints the neighbors bring (too many students walking on sidewalks, we can see campus buildings, etc) force the hand of AU to coddle to them. I'm sure they find the money all the parking programs bring in helpful too.
I'm headed to AU to park my car. Never attended AU and don't have any AU business there. I'll put some old text books from the 80s in the back seat and I'll get my ticket (hopefully), then I will scan the ticket, remove references to my vehicle, date and time. I will then mass produce them and put them on cars as far away as Baltimore and Richmond.
I received a difficult to remove sticker and a warning when I forgot to display a visitor pass in Embassy Park. They said they reported me to "AU Police" for a $75 fine. I was not a guest of AU at that time, and I do have a parking sticker that would have allowed me to park closer to AU. Yes, I was illegally parked and they would have had full authority to have me towed or give me a warning like I the Avalon and Berks do.

Fortunately I've never received a ticket from AU, despite having an AU sticker and California plates, which I find strange.
I am an AU student, and have since been ticketed 3 times. I have out of state plates, and used to have an AU sticker on my car (I removed that pretty quickly...). I think this is an outrageous policy. I paid $100 to have the title to my car transferred to me from my parents so I could pay the $350 to get a student reciprocity permit for Ward 3 (where I live). And AU wants me to pay another $1000 to park on campus?!?? I can see that they don't want loads of students parking in the neighborhood, but I also don't understand why the neighbors are complaining. There are TONS of spaces to park on the street in the area and most of the houses near AU have driveways so they don't have to worry about parking on the street!

An as an aside...I think $75 is a bit steep. Give a warning first, then proceed to the tickets. It's not like I don't pay them enough in tuition.....
RBG, I've got about four of them -- I'll scan one and send it to you!
So let's clarify, AU does not have guards. They have Public Safety Officers, who are commissioned through DC's MPD. Any investigation would tell you this. They are also not the ones writing tickets. There are Public Safety Employee's writing tickets, but non of them are the Police Officers. In order to understand this issue completely you need to talk to the ANC Committee, they are the ones who force AU's hand, and the people doing the ticketing are just following orders from their employer which is bigger than the Chief of Police, there is a board of trustee's including the President who make these decisions. Please do your research before writing again.
Parking is free after 5PM to 8AM the next day on weekdays, and is completely free on anyone who works night at AU or has a night class does not have to pay. Or any visitors for that matter.
I'd just like to point out the quote from Ann Heuer- "they aren't supposed to park on our streets!" As an AU student, I live in the District, pay rent in the District, pay my parking to the District. Last time I checked, streets were the property of the city. Therefore, as a resident of this city, I have a right to park on OUR streets as well!

Don't make us the "them". For four years or more, DC is our home too.
I can't decide what's more obnoxious...the fact that AU kowtows to the snotty old folks with way too much money (hi, Judith Berson!) who CHOSE TO LIVE NEXT TO A UNIVERSITY, or the fact that AU "cops" somehow have jurisdiction over non-university streets.

This is ridiculous, and someone needs to pull their head out of their ass.
Especially frustrating is the fact that I pay for parking on campus, only to find that during every snowstorm, neighbors have parked their cars in the covered lot, so there is no place for me to park. Being a good neighbor goes both ways.
Let's talk about social justice, shall we? AU charges way too much for parking. We've all heard it. Worse still, AU President Neil Kerwin, who lives in the neighborhood (and probably somehow escapes ticketing) gets paid in the mid-$700K's, according to the November 2010 issue of Washingtonian. How much does he pay to park on campus? Because if it's the same as some of his university's staff who make $15-25K, that's just wrong. What about his VP's, or the Board of Trustees? Do they pay the same amount that's offered to low-wage staff?

AU's flat-rate parking for staff is unjust, especially considering that some commute from way out in Maryland or Virginia because they already can't afford NW DC rent. Shall we ask them to endure the two-hour one-way commute on Metro since they aren't being fairly paid by a university that insists on ticketing them for trying to have some free time at the beginning and end of their work day? Besides, Metro rates from that far out are comparable to having to pay for AU parking--why should these people be expected to waste both time AND money when they have less of each to waste than their college's president?

It all comes down to this: AU has cashflow issues and wants to make anyone who can help pay for their irresponsible spending.
Here is a possibly relevant section of the D.C. code regulating "special police officers." I'm sorry that I can't highlight the relevant sections. Note particularly that the authority of special police officers is limited to the property they are assigned to and they are explicitly prohibited from actions on public space. If AU has civilian employees wandering around writing citations on public streets, that's even worse than having their private "police" do it.

3. The term “special police officer,” is any person who is commissioned pursuant to the provisions of D.C. Code, § 4-114 (1981) and other regulations which have been approved pursuant to this act, and who may be authorized to carry a weapon.

D. Special Police Officers.

1. Special police officers are privately commissioned police officers with full arrest powers within an area or premises which the officer has been employed to protect. The commission is conditional and is required to be renewed each year.

2. Special police officers may be appointed by the Mayor for duty in connection with the property of or under the charge of a corporation or individual requesting the appointment. Special police officers shall be strictly confined in their authority to the particular place or property which they are commissioned to protect.

3. Commissions issued to special police officers shall specify the following:

a. The particular place or property they are commissioned to protect (this information is normally kept in the form of a contract list which is available for inspection at the Security Officers Manage­ment Branch);

b. Any waiver of the uniform requirement;

c. Firearm authorization status; and

d. In the case of DCMR Title 6-A, Chapter 11, Section 1101.2, any requirement for storage or special provisions for transportation of firearms or other dangerous weapons.

4. Special police officers are normally in uniform as required by DCMR Title 6-A, Chapter 11, Section 1109, however, upon request a uniform waiver may be granted.

5. Special police officers may be authorized to bear firearms, however, they must meet additional requirements which includes completing an annual firearms training course.

6. The holder of a special police officer’s commission is not authorized to take police action on public space, except when in fresh pursuit from an authorized location. The holder of a special police officer’s commission may not take police action on private property, unless their employing agency has contracted with the owner of the private property to render security related services. Violations may result in the revocation of both the agency’s license and special police officer’s commission.

7. Special police officers are explicitly prohibited from engaging in roving patrols on public space. However, officers may travel upon public space to get from one job site to another and the most direct route must be taken. Any deviations of armed special police officers traveling between job sites may subject the officer to arrest for firearms violations and the revocation of their commission.

8. No person shall be appointed as a special police officer pursuant to D.C. Code §4- 114, and DCMR Title 6-A, Chapter 11, unless they meet the following require­ments:

a. Have reached the age of twenty-one (21) years;
b. Be a citizen of the United States;
c. Be of good moral character;
d. Be approved for appointment by the Chief of Police.

I would especially like to point out to Ms. Berson this (who said they need parking for their guests-and great for you- I have trouble finding parking even for myself outside my apt IN ZONE 3 when I go home at night): When do people most often have guests? Nights and weekends. When is there free parking on campus? Nights and weekends. Hmmm... seems like the time you would least need parking outside your house is the time Zone 3 permitted students might want to park by AU on the street (which SHOULD be monitored by DC, not AU).

Also, your townhouse does not come with parking. If you have a lot, yes. I live in a townhouse and it did not come with parking. If you have a driveway, then your house came with parking.

Thank you for writing an article bringing this up Washington City Paper.
I am often shocked there are not many private garages offering parking in this city. I know the start up cost is a lot but the maintance is low, and money to be made would be a fortune.
Excuse me AU Public Safety, but when I, a female undergrad student, asked for a late night escort home, you said you weren't ALLOWED to because you did not have jurisdiction off-campus. BUT YOU CAN WRITE TICKETS OFF-CAMPUS? Wow.
AU's ticketing policy is shakedown against the students. The real point of AU ticketing on neighborhood streets is so that it forces students to buy parking passes or pay the $1.50/hour ridiculous rates at the Nebraska lot. The truly idiotic thing is that if you want to visit the Tenley campus you would have to park in Nebraska, pay for the space, and then wait 20 minutes for the stupid shuttle to come to take you to Tenley. AU just wants your money.
I grew up on Alton Place about 2 blocks behind the AU law school. Once every few months they would ticket every car on my block. I never had any affiliation with AU, so I just ignored the tickets and nothing happened.
Also, not EVERYONE in the neighborhood is a whiny snob like Ms. Berson. My family never had any problem with people parking on our block, it's a PUBLIC street, and no, you don't own the street in front of your house as much as you would like to.
It is not surprising AU issues Ticket like this, Maybe they believed in they are officials of private university therefore do not need to follow " You are Guilty before proved innocent" rule.
It is untrue that are MPD officers.
Maybe someone shall do something to change the practice of AU, instead writing here.
AU Police officer's attitude is not right, It is still a question if the commission's authorization or requirement to the University is legal or not( They can not request the campus police to act on public street if the law is against this), for now suppose AU have the authority to issue the ticket on public street under law , people who might be subject to their enforcement have the right to know what is legal or what is illegal under their policy, therefore they have the right to know which street are included in their enforcement range, otherwise how can they avoid to be ticketed, how can they be a law biding citizen?
Because the office refuse to tell people what is the law even when they are explicitly asked---Does the officer has a duty to tell people the information? Indeed, That will be only helpful to AU's job. However, Under this current situation, maybe we can say , Even if people break the law, they shall not be prosecuted, because the law is too vague on its face.
AU's law enforcement is a JOKE.
AU has an economic incentive to do so....If they ticket everyone including those they have not sufficient cause to issue the ticket, or not telling people which streets are included in their areas for ticketing---The obvious thing is, among those who are wrongly ticketed, there will be some people will go ahead to pay the ticket, even if they suspect they shall not be ticketed.

This is absolutely not the first time Au did this. In 2005, 2006, there are virtually same complaints and media exposures against AU's ticketing practice off campus.
Situation does not change at all.
Why the students shall pay several times more than legally allowed fine on public street based on AU's rate,unlike other citizens? Those who authorize AU to do so and AU itself have striped their rights away.
That is tolerated again and again.
Place AU tickets on public street is illegal, disciplinary or not, The point is , people who gets tickets has to pay!

For example, you landlord ask you to pay three times rent other renter in similar conditions pays, Or, a person who is not your landlord ask you to pay under the threat of some sort of punishment, you got an illegal action there, although None of those two situations involves court summons and not state action.

However, If you do not pay, you will face punishment.
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Yeah, why AU student shall pay three times more than other people who might park at same place, committing same violation, even if assume it is illegal to park on some of those streets, including streets not disclosed?
Besides they are students who do not have income or little income and are paying expensive tuition, As a result, many of them work minimum wage job and have a lot of debt which they have to repaid for many years after they graduated, and it is a question a degree will give them an immediate opportunity to find a good job under current economic climate. Why it is them who shall pay more?
Disciplinary action normally apply to less serious offenses than those come within the scope of Metro police action, and shall carry less serious punishment. Not so?
When people make mistakes , they argue for themselves, especially people who are in the position in authority, It is difficult to have them to admit they are wrong, They are lack of courage to be open to the possibility that they might be wrong in many instances, cause they think that would undermine their authority. Sad people.

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