Parking Ambassadors hit the pavement

By Stephanie Stuckey, Staff Reporter

The Parking Ambassador (PA) position at CNM is “student focused” said Parking Services manager, Nicholas Aragon.

Parking Ambassadors patrol the general and paid parking lots at CNM, check permits and look for suspicious behavior, Aragon said.

The Parking Ambassadors can be spotted walking around campus wearing yellow shirts and the Parking Services Department currently has four PAs, he said.

Aragon wants to stress that the main focus of the PAs and the Parking Services Department as a whole is the students.

“We want to change assumptions people may have regarding Parking Services – we are here for the community at CNM, not against them,” he said.

There is no quota on the amount of citations that are issued, the PAs job is to create a welcoming environment at CNM where people will want to return, Aragon said.

When Parking Ambassadors attend trainings, customer service is most important; “it is about the students, not the tickets,” he said.

PAs issue citations in general parking lots two weeks after the first day of the beginning of the semester, Aragon said.

Students, faculty, and staff using the general parking lots have a two week grace period in which to pick-up their general parking lot permits, he said.

There is no grace period for paid permit parking lots and PAs begin to issue citations on the first day of the semester, said Aragon.

“People pay good money to pay for those parking spots and they should be available to them when they are at CNM,” he said.

Aragon said that CNM does not tow vehicles due to outstanding citations.

PAs do pay close attention to handicap parking spots and fire lanes, Aragon said.

Students, staff, and faculty should feel comfortable talking and interacting with PAs – they are available to answer questions regarding general campus information as well, he said.

PAs are required to read the Suncat Times in order to have the most recent, up-to-date information, Aragon said.

Parking Ambassadors carry radios and are able to communicate with security in the instance they run into a situation which they are not trained to handle, he said.

PAs are only trained in dealing with parking issues – they are constantly being trained in communication skills as well as verbal judo, Aragon said.

Parking Ambassadors will also respond to various calls throughout the day dealing with issues such as hit and runs or several cars being parked in paid parking lots without permits, he said.

“The community at CNM is great about speaking-up when there is a problem,” Aragon said.

Something to keep in mind, Aragon said, is that the first citation is voided for everyone.

The person who received the citation may not know where to pick-up the general parking lot permits – Parking Ambassadors and Parking Services can educate that person by informing them of where to pick-up the parking permits, he said.

“It takes a special type of person to be a Parking Ambassador because not everyone is able to effectively communicate with such a diverse population,” Aragon said.

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