Future impact of BYU parking citations

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Getting a BYU parking ticket is almost a right of passage. There’s even a local ice cream shop that offers a 50% discount if you bring one with you. But the real impact of these tickets might not be obvious until after a student graduates.

With almost 35,000 students and only a limited number of parking spots, many students try to find ways around getting parking tickets altogether.

“If you go out this time they don’t patrol that lot or just like if you, you know, if you park here, sort of like secret parking spot sort of thing,” Taylor Sorensen, who will be attending law school next year, said.

He kicked off his legal career early by tackling something relatable — his five parking tickets.

“I couldn’t find any information on it. People were saying like, ‘Well, if you never pay, because it’s a private institution, there’s nothing they can do to enforce the ticket on you,’” Sorensen said.

But this notion is in fact, just a myth.

“They can send that to collections, hit their credit. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to park where you should park because the reckoning is coming,” Lieutenant Rich Christianson said.

“They ask for any reports pertaining to the police that have to do with this individual, then that information would be turned over,” Chris Autry, BYU Police and Security managing director, said.

The university receives information requests from organizations like the Secret Service or Homeland Security, explained Christianson.

Investigators sometimes even ask for the students’ parking record. “If a background investigator came here and is checking that student’s file and notices a pattern … Why do you have 12 citations in 18 months? And then they would have to explain why that is,” Christianson said.

High security organizations care about these patterns because it is an example of rule-following — or rule-breaking — tendencies, Christianson explained.

“If a student is applying for a federal job and they have ten parking citations and they were delinquent on three or four of them, well, that’s a pattern, right? … Why are they breaking the rules?” Christianson said.

Fellow students may not realize this extra scrutiny.

“I think a lot of people don’t actually know what the repercussions could be. I think that’s very like secluded knowledge,” Sorensen said. 

If investigators uncover a student has accumulated numerous parking tickets, BYU Police said the student may need to explain their circumstances during a future application process.

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