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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Western to refund students who were issued jaywalking tickets

By Julia Berkman

Any Western student who was fined for jaywalking by the Wade King Recreation Center on Thursday, April 12 will be reimbursed by the university.

According to a Western Today article, although jaywalking was identified as a problem on campus by Western’s Central Health and Safety Committee, police chief Darin Rasmussen now believes officers may have been a bit too heavy-handed with ticketing.

“The goal of the enforcement action was never intended to be punitive, but to alert our campus community to the dangers of jaywalking,” Rasmussen said in an interview with Western Today.

Freshman Rebekah Wingard said she felt they were targeting the most heavily-jaywalked area. She referenced an article from The AS Review that found that all students who had been ticketed and called the AS Legal Information Center were people of color.

“It seems like after people heard about that, [University Police] backtracked,” Wingard said. 

Senior Haley Beavers believes this measure is in response to outcry from students on social media.

From 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, no one was seen jaywalking near the Rec Center, including students who were about to miss their bus.

Beavers believes that fining students for jaywalking is trivial. Before students started receiving fines, she would jaywalk when no cars were approaching.

At 2:30 p.m. on April 18, signs notifying students jaywalking would be fined were still up. By 3:45 p.m., they were gone.

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