May 022005
 
Authors: J.J. Babb

While the lines have not yet formed, students have already begun taking advantage of University Parking Services' two weeks of ticket amnesty Monday.

Every year at the end of the spring semester, University Parking Services offers two weeks of amnesty in which students may donate a food item to the Food Bank for Larimer County through parking services.

With this donation, individuals receive a $3 discount for un-elevated parking citation or the reduction of an elevated citation to the original amount.

This year's amnesty period began April 25 and ends Friday.

The first day of amnesty saw a reduction of 415 citations.

"And that's just the beginning," said Cindy Leinweber, assistant director of parking services. "At the end of the two weeks they'll be lines of people waiting. It's a good deal."

To take advantage of the amnesty, anyone with an unpaid citation may bring it to University Parking Services in Green Hall.

Although Jessica Andersen does not drive to campus, she thinks parking services amnesty is a good idea.

"It's a good way to get people involved with their community," said Andersen, a junior landscape architect major.

Leinweber does not know how long amnesty week has been going on.

"I would say at least 10 years," Leinweber said. "I've been here five years and we've done it long before that."

In 2004, parking services donated 1,138 pounds of food through amnesty week that amounts to approximately $1,700 in food, Leinweber said.

"Every year it almost doubles. I hope it is over 2,000 this year," Leinweber said.

University Parking Services advertises amnesty week through fliers in tickets, advertising in the Collegian and e-mails to staff and students.

"We try to do as much as we can to promote it," Leinweber said.

The Food Bank accepts any food products, except for those that are home-preserved or have been opened.

It is particularly looking for canned dinners such as chili and stew, peanut butter, canned tomatoes, canned fruit and cereal.

"It's a bid benefit to the food bank any time we can get donated food," said Scott Burnworth, development director of the food bank. "Any food we can obtain locally is a big help."

Last year the food bank gave out a record-setting 4.9 million pounds of food. This was up 40 percent in the past two years, Burnworth said.

Leinweber said the purpose of amnesty week is to give students a break at the end of the semester and help the community.

"(Students are) actually helping the community as well as helping themselves," Leinweber said.

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