University will forgive parking tickets for food donations

University of Florida president Kent Fuchs pranked students on April 1, 2017, by vowing to "drain the swamp.." In 2018, he insisted that his amnesty for parking tickets was no April Fools' Day joke.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The president of the University of Florida announced amnesty for students with parking tickets over the past year, announcing a “Food for Fines” program in a video Sunday.

The problem was that students were unsure whether to take university President Kent Fuchs seriously, The Independent Florida Alligator reported.

That’s because of Fuchs’ April 1 announcement, which put students on alert because of the university president’s pranks over the past three years.

In 2015, he pretended to switch roles with then-football coach Jim McElwain, and in 2016 he said that Florida would merge with rival Florida State University. Last year, Fuchs claimed he would "drain the swamp," the Alligator reported.

This year’s video was on the level, Fuchs insisted.

“For many years, parking tickets have been a source of contention between the university administration and our students, staff, faculty, alumni and visitors,” Fuchs said in the video. “And today, I’m calling on Scott Fox, the director of Transportation and Parking Services to create, by tomorrow, a program that will allow the past 12 months of parking tickets to be forgiven.”

Fox confirmed the program was legitimate and provided details to the Alligator.


The “Food for Fines” program will apply for all unpaid parking citations issued by the UF Office of Transportation and Parking Services between April 1, 2017, and Sunday, April 1. Students with unpaid parking tickets can have them forgiven by donating five food items or other supplies to the university’s Parking Services office. In addition to food, toiletries, baby formula and diapers can be donated, the Alligator reported.

“We know people don’t like receiving parking tickets. We also don’t like issuing them,” Fox said. “We do it reluctantly, and we do it as our duty because we need to maintain some sort of order on our campus.”