A UNCC Student Paid His Parking Ticket With 11,000 Pennies In Protest Of The System

by 5 years ago

After finding out that 80% of his on-campus parking ticket was actually going to fund other schools in that area, and not UNC-Charlotte, Stephen Coyle decided to the best way to change the system was to raise awareness. He knows he messed up and deserved the parking tickets. From what I’ve gathered, Stephen Coyle was living a ‘zero fux given’ lifestyle when it comes to parking, and racked up quite a few parking tickets before discovering that his fees weren’t going to his school, but the $$$ was getting spread around elsewhere. After finding out that only 20% of his parking tickets were going back into funding for his college (UNC Charlotte) he wanted to change the system.

WCNC has the story:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A pattern of illegal parking for a local college student now has him protesting what his fine money’s being used for. And his way to send a message? Paying in pennies.
Stephen Coyle knows he broke the rules.
“You parked in the visitor parking,” Coyle said. “I parked in the two decks beside that.”
He’s tallied up multiple citations on UNCC’s campus this summer, but it lead to a shocking discovery. State law only lets the school keep 20% of the fines.

“Eighty-percent of your tickets have gone to fund other schools,” Coyle said.
The funding goes to other public schools in the area, which is why he’s been handing out flyers to students.
“Most of the time they have no idea where their money is going,” Coyle said. “And when they do find out, they’re pretty upset.”
So when he paid his $110 fine he decided to let them count.
“Getting 11,000 pennies isn’t very easy,” Coyle said.
Coyle went to three different banks to get five $25 boxes containing 2500 pennies. That got him to reach his total of 11,000.
“And I brought them in three separate buckets for them,” Coyle said.

He sat there while two workers counted every single penny.
“It took them approximately three hours and 40 minutes,” Coyle said.
Not time well spent, and Coyle says it’s not money well spent.
“The money should be reinvested back into the students, in my opinion,” Coyle said.
“The real problem is inadequate funding by the state for higher education and secondary education,” said State Representative Kelly Alexander.

I have to admit that this is some logic I can get on board with. I’ve been known to buy a lottery ticket from time to time, and I do so under the assumption that when I lose some of that money is circulating back into the school system. I’m willing to throw away a few bucks in the name of the lottery if it means that money is at least going somewhere decent. But as it turns out I’ve been duped:

Solution? Start buying my lottery tickets using pennies. Also, this dude’s form of protest is quite possibly the worst protest ever. All he’s done is make the live’s shitty for a few city workers tasked with counting pennies. He’s never going to change the law, all he’s doing is shifting the burden. Not cool.


TAGSMoneyParking ticketsPennies