By Elyse Pitkin
Student Senate is one of the leading student-led organizations across Hiram’s campus and serves as the official body for protecting student rights and interests. Over the summer, Student Senate looked at other campus-wide initiatives from larger universities that could bolster Hiram’s community. In doing so, they decided to implement Food for Fines, which allows Hiram students to donate canned goods or personal care products in exchange for parking citation forgiveness. Students were eligible to get any combination of $80 worth of on-campus parking tickets to be forgiven.
“We thought it would be great to implement the program at Hiram,” said Student Senate President, Lyndsey Johns. “It gives students an alternative in paying parking fines that also benefits the campus community. The donations go directly to the HAPPI Place.” The HAPPI Place (Hiram Access Pantry for Personal Items) is a resource for students in need that has existed on campus for many years. It contains items such as food, school supplies, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products, and students are able to access and acquire any item from the HAPPI Place at no cost.
Food for Fines was tested during Hiram’s 3-week, and Johns found students were receptive to the idea. “We hope to roll this out as a continuous option for forgiving all parking tickets throughout the course of the semester in the near future,” she said. “We are really grateful for Dan Fynes in Campus Safety and the administration for their support of the initiative.”
Student Senate Vice President, Ryan Streator feels that this was a productive contribution to campus. “It gives members of our community the opportunity to attest for parking violations in non-monetary means that go directly back to benefit our community as a whole, which we see as a step in helping Hiram become a more equitable community,” said Streator. “Students are hoping to see this program implemented permanently.”
Read more about Student Senate and its initiatives across campus here.