Missouri State students work off parking fines with service

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Students at Missouri State University will soon be able to work off campus parking tickets with community service.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the Bear With Me program will start in January and forgive up to $3,000 in fines during the spring semester. The pilot program isn’t open to chronic offenders, and each student can work off only one ticket per academic year.

Students must apply for the waiver and complete two hours of community service within 15 days from the date the ticket was issued. Options include cleaning up vacant lots, completing neighborhood projects or tending a community garden.

University transportation official Tom Johnson says 50 to 100 tickets are issued on a typical day.

The Student Government Association championed the program.