Fines are just fine

March 18, 2011 — by Sarah Hull and Parul Singh

The parking violation: a five by three inch, neon yellow, highly adhesive sticker. The library fine: a seemingly mysterious dollar amount that just seems to keep increasing. But according to school officials, these notorious fines often evoke misplaced fear in students.

Campus supervisor Jeanine Sevilla said parking violations are typically issued to students for missing parking permits, parking on top of the curb, parking in the visitors’ spaces or the staff lots or for parking backwards.

After a student receives three violations, he or she usually faces the penalty of Saturday school, but there is no monetary fine.

Junior Ali Kothari received a violation for parking backwards into a space, which is a common cause of parking lot accidents, said Sevilla. However, since it was only his first violation, he did not face any penalty.

“I was mostly angry because I didn’t know it was against the rules,” said Kothari. “I was also annoyed because the sticker was really hard to get off.”

Usually, Sevilla checks the parking lot during the morning and carries a chart with her to record car information.

“If a kid is in the parking lot without a parking permit, I get all their information, like what kind of car it is and its license plate, and then I put this lovely sticker on their car, which is unfortunately very hard to get off,” Sevilla said.

Sevilla did say that with the use of products such as WD-40, a cleaning lubricant, and baby oil the stickers can be removed.

While there are some consequences for parking violation, Sevilla feels that students should not be too concerned.

“This year has been one of the best years and the kids have been wonderful. If they get a violation, they’re usually [in the office] buying a permit the next day,” she said.

Library fines can be more serious in comparison as students are required to actually pay money in order to clear any items returned late or damaged.

For library books, there is a five-day grace period where no fine will be administered, but after this period students are fined 25 cents per day until the book in returned. However, there is a $5 cap on the fine amount per book.

Any textbook returned over three weeks late is fined a flat rate of $5. Because of this policy, fines can add up quickly if a student is not paying attention.

“It is not uncommon for me to [clearing] for someone who has three overdue textbooks and three overdue library books,” librarian Kevin Heyman said.

Junior Vineet Jain received a $3 fine for turning “The Bean Trees” late as well as an $18 fine for losing “Lord of the Flies.” Though he had to pay a considerable amount, Jain feels that the fines were deserved.

“I was satisfied with how much I had to pay,” said Jain. “My parents got mad, but I thought [the fine] was reasonable because I was responsible for the books.”

Library fines can also be issued for damage to textbooks, including water damage, marks or ripped pages. Anything beyond normal wear and tear can be fined, according to Heyman.

Students who fail to pay their fines or to return overdue library books are sent e-mail notifications and may face more serious consequences.

“The administration can put a hold on a student’s transcript [if they don’t pay a fine]. We do our best to collect it, but when students don’t pay their fines, then the administration imposes the penalty for it,” said Heyman.

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