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  • Max Lieber

Student's Diploma Voided at Commencement Due to Outstanding Parking Ticket

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

"This is truly a nightmare," said the unfortunate Thomas Lance after being informed that he could not graduate due to one unpaid parking violation on his student record. The distraught School of Management grad had just been called up to the stage and taken what was supposed to be one of the most important walks in his life. Upon receiving his diploma, however, he was shocked to find the words "CITATION UNPAID" stamped on the envelope that it was enclosed within.

The graduating senior was a member of the BAP program, a PwC Scholar, and president of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Many see him as a renowned community leader due to his active involvement in several student organizations. In his Junior year, Lance founded the JumpStart food pantry which he hoped "would help to reduce food inequality and improve food accessibility" throughout Johnson City. According to an email sent to Thomas's school address, the University has begun the process to eliminate these accomplishments from his record. The email states that if Thomas is unable to pay the fine within 90 days, it "will be as if he was never enrolled at Binghamton University".

According to Megan Schofield, the assistant director and communications manager of Transportation and Parking services at Binghamton University, Lance deserved to receive the ticket and must face the consequences for not paying it off: "We never forget. Parking violations will be punished. They must be punished. In order to right his wrong, he must pay the 40 dollars to be redeemed for the deed he has done to us, no matter how long ago he did it."

Harvey Stenger is largely being blamed by students, parents, and staff for permitting such an administrative injustice to potentially impact Lance’s entire future. Following the ceremony, BUTT reporters managed to question Stenger as to how he was planning on handling the issue:

“This is definitely a big ol' whoopsie on our part. I'm going to make sure that my friend Lance gets his degree. He's a true Bearcat!" When asked what the powder was that he was licking from his fingers, Harvey told us it was something he uses to "hype himself up for the ceremony."

Despite the president's statement, according to Lance, he still has not received his diploma. He refuses to pay the citation as, according to him, it would be "a disrespect to his entire academic career". The BUTT urges every graduated senior in the Binghamton University community who has received their diploma to support Lance by racking up as many parking violations as possible as they can't do shit to you once you have your degree.

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