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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Making it more accessible’: Food For Fines makes three key changes to help university population

The+Wichita+State+University+Police+Department+%28WSUPD%29+building+at+Wichita+State.+The+building+is+one+of+two+locations+students+can+drop+off+donations+for+the+Food+For+Fines+initiative.
Jacinda Hall
The Wichita State University Police Department (WSUPD) building at Wichita State. The building is one of two locations students can drop off donations for the Food For Fines initiative.

Food For Fines ran from Feb. 5-9. The program is an initiative to support the Shocker Support Locker. It provides an opportunity for students to pay off traffic and parking citations. 

The program has recently made some changes to help the Wichita State population that are different from past years the program was offered. Tatumn Graham, a graduate advocate for the Student Government Association, found it beneficial to increase the number of times the initiative is offered.

“Food For Fines was only offered two or three times a semester,” Graham said. “We decided that it would be a benefit to increase how many times we offer this initiative a semester, which is essentially a win for everybody.”

Scheduling

According to Graham, Food For Fines was originally offered from a Tuesday through Thursday each semester. It’s now offered on Monday through Friday during the first week of each month. 

“With that new change, the students, staff and faculty have more chances to participate throughout the semester,” Graham said. “And the Shocker Support Locker essentially gets more donations.” 

Donation items

The number of required donations for the Food For Fines program has also increased. According to Ashlynn Clark, the undergraduate student advocate, $30 or under citations required seven donated items. For citations $31-$50, participants had to donate 14 items. Now, 10 items are required for $30 or under citations; 15 are required for $31-50.

“The reason for this change was based on the pricing of typical items that you donate if you went to the store,” Clark said. “For example, some of the canned goods that you’d get from Walmart are around 64 cents, so if you donate a total of 10 items, it’ll be around $6.40, which is a lot less than what you’d pay for the $25 citation.”

Additions to program

The last change that was made to Food For Fines was a result of SGA working with Nathaniel Johnson, who previously worked for the Wichita State University Police Department. This collaboration added traffic violations to the program. 

These violations include but are not limited to: 

  • Failure to yield to pedestrians
  • Failure to signal turn
  • Driving on a sidewalk
  • Running a stop sign
  • Improper U-turn

“They don’t really cite those very often,” Graham said. “They take those chances to educate students or whoever they pull over, rather than violating them.”

According to Clark and Graham, Food For Fines also allows a two-month window for having citations forgiven. 

“So anybody who gets a citation in December is still qualified for the February Food For Fines,” Graham said. 

Graham and Clark said that since the program changes were made, they have seen a lot more donations. 

Clark also said that utilizing this program helps students, staff and faculty be more aware of the parking rules and regulations on campus grounds. 

“We hope that the initiative gives them the opportunity to learn more about parking rules and regulations while also giving back to the Shocker community through donations,” Clark said.

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About the Contributor
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Reporter
Jacinda Hall is a reporter for The Sunflower. Hall is a Senior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Hall hopes to pursue a career in writing, editing or teaching journalism at the high school level after graduation. Hall uses she/her pronouns.

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  • C

    CodyFeb 9, 2024 at 6:39 pm

    With all due respect, if you almost run over a pedestrian you shouldn’t get your citation waved for donating a couple canned goods…

    Reply