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Saturday, May 08, 2021

UF students frustrated with or confused by parking rules on UF's campus can now vent their problems to the Student Traffic Court's judges.

The justices have begun holding office hours in an attempt to clear up misconceptions about parking on campus, said Chief Justice Ryan Mezzell.

The hours generally run from mid-morning to mid-afternoon on Tuesdays through Fridays at the UF Parking and Transportation offices on Gale Lemerand Drive.

The Student Traffic Court, a division of Student Government's judicial branch, consists of Mezzell and 12 associate judges.

They are responsible for hearing students' appeals of citations, deciding whether to uphold or overturn citations, and setting fines.

Mezzell said he believes increased communication can save students time and money. Court justices can explain the rules and give suggestions about where to legally park, he said.

"We get a lot of students who say, 'I have this violation, and I don't understand why I got it,'" he said. "We want to offer students an opportunity where they can speak with someone who has a student perspective."

Mezzell also said he admits that communication can only go so far in solving UF's parking woes. But it's a start, he said.

"There's a limited amount of spaces for a huge amount of students," he said. "I don't think we'll change that dramatically, but we're looking to help mitigate the situation."

In addition to the office hours, the court is also preparing a pamphlet explaining basic parking rules and common violations.

Mezzell said the court is also trying to make some alternatives to on-campus parking more attractive.

Projects in this vein include expanding the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol, or SNAP, with more vans and improving Regional Transit System buses through initiatives such as the use of Global Positioning Systems on buses.

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