If a parking ticket this semester seemed more expensive than last year, it wasn’t just your imagination.

In an article written before the Thanksgiving holiday break, the East Tennessean reported increases in certain campus parking violations, namely illegally parking in student/faculty-reserved spaces, between the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years. At the time, ETSU Parking Services were not available for comment, leaving students to speculate on certain fines were being doubled this year, while many, such as speeding or parking without a decal, remained the same.

ETSU Parking Services since has laid some of the speculation to rest. Kimberly Marcus, Assistant Director of Parking Services, says the issue involves the especially-congested parking lots due to the football stadium being under construction (as some students speculated), but the increase was about fairness, not making some extra cash. Students running late for class could be more prone to committing these offenses with no spots anywhere near their academic building.

Furthering Marcus’ claim of fairness, the decision to increase certain parking offenses was not unilateral.

“In our continuing effort to find workable solutions to parking issues on the ETSU campus and to make sure that all campus members have fair access to available parking at all times, the Parking, Traffic, and Security Advisory Committee surveyed students, faculty and staff concerning a variety of parking-related issues in the Fall 2015 semester,” Marcus said.

She said a question from survey was “Would you support an increase in fines as a deterrent to prevent individuals from parking in such ways that interfere with your ability to use parking spaces that should be available to you?”

“Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes,” she said.

Marcus cited that 72 percent of students voted in favor with that particular question, and 83 percent of faculty/staff.

“Therefore, current parking/traffic violations were reviewed and those violations related to this issue were earmarked for increases effective in the 2016/2017 academic year,” Marcus said.

The increases, she says, were submitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents through Student Affairs for approval.