Parking and Other Updates from Campus Safety and Transportation

A message to the Saint Mary’s Community

by Manjit Sappal, Executive Director of Campus Safety and Transportation | August 21, 2023

As the beginning of fall semester draws near, the Department of Campus Safety and Transportation is excited to share new developments about our new parking permit process, new parking permit machines, re-establishment of our Parking Committee, and our new emergency notification platform.

You may have noticed our department’s name change, from the Department of Campus Safety and Transportation to the Department of Campus Safety and Transportation. As our fundamental responsibility is to keep the campus community safe, we made this subtle but important change to more accurately reflect what we do.

Campus Safety and Transportation banner

New All-Electronic System for Parking Permits

In the past, the campus has provided physical parking permits that were purchased and mailed to each customer. Now, in an effort to simplify the process and avoid the need for physical permits, we are moving to an all-electronic and online system.

The new parking system will allow a permit to be purchased on the SMC website by providing the license plate(s) of the vehicles you plan on parking at the campus. Please note that multiple vehicles can be on the same permit (for those who may drive more than one vehicle to campus on any given day). Only one of those vehicles may be on campus at any one time, however.

Once the license plate(s) have been entered, they remain in our database as authorized vehicles that have paid the fee for parking. 

For all campus employees, parking permits must be paid for through payroll deductions and only on a monthly basis. Employees are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the auto-renewal feature, since otherwise their permit will expire at the end of the month (no matter what day of the month the permit was purchased) and will thus require a new permit-purchasing process for subsequent months. Those who do elect the auto-renewal option will continue to pay each month for their parking permit and will be charged until they opt out.

Employees who only plan to park on campus for a month or two should not elect the auto-renew option and, instead, pay for the months they plan to park on campus. All members of the Saint Mary’s community, of course, are encouraged to select the parking plan that best suits their needs.

Better Convenience for Visitors

For visitors, new parking machines on campus, in tandem with a new mobile parking app, will allow for payment from a mobile device and the driver’s vehicle license plate. 

Visitors will download the parking app with a QR code now available at lots around the campus. The app can also be used to purchase additional time if the visitor has used one of the parking machines to pay for parking. Though not necessary in order to use the parking machines, the parking app makes it more convenient for visitors to park on campus by allowing them to pay from their phone without having to locate a parking machine.

Regular members of the campus community (students, staff, and faculty) should continue to purchase parking permits through our parking portal

The student parking permit cost remains the same: $59.50 per term or $119 per year, or $0 for veteran students, student dependents of veterans, and for undergraduate students with an estimated family contribution (EFC) of less than $11,158. 

Veterans, veteran-dependents, and EFC-eligible students must still apply for a parking permit through the parking portal, though no further action is required on the part of eligible EFC students (the College will make an assessment and forward the applicable information to our permitting system). Veterans and veteran dependents should confirm their or their parent’s veteran status with the Registrar’s office.

Permit costs for employees will continue to be tiered and will also remain the same as in the past, albeit with minor adjustments to the tiers. The slightly adjusted salary ranges for each tier will be as follows:

Tier SMC Salary Annual Cost Monthly Cost
1 <$52,000 0 0
2 $52,000 - $59,999 119 9.92
3 $60,000 - $79,999 142 11.83
4 $80,000 - $89,999 178 14.83
5 $90,000 - $99,999 214 17.83
6 $100,000+ 249 20.75


We will also be resurrecting our Parking Committee, a group of campus stakeholders representing undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff (including housing staff), students who live on campus, and commuter students. The committee will make recommendations on parking-related issues to include permit costs, parking areas for students, employees, students who live on campus, and any other parking concerns that arise.  

Additional Parking Enhancements

Future upgrades related to parking and enforcement are in process and include the use of cameras and license plate data to identify which vehicles are in violation and subject to enforcement.

These camera systems will only store license plate information for parking enforcement purposes and will not be shared with other entities; there will be no outside connection to this data aside from our contracted parking machine citation management company. All license plate information will be purged from our system regularly.  

We anticipate the new parking permit portal system will be up in a few weeks and open for permit purchasing. A campus-wide message will be distributed when the system is live.  

Introducing the Gael Safe App 

We’re pleased to share news about implementing a new app called Gael Safe (replacing the LiveSafe app, which will no longer be used).

Gael Safe offers a number of features to help keep our campus community safe. Students, staff, and faculty can sign up for campus messages and notifications, for example, including fire safety information, building evacuation plans, and timely information on emergencies and disasters.

Other features include the ability to have Campus Safety check on you if you are working or studying alone; you can also have the app auto-call you every hour, and if you do not answer, one of your designated emergency contacts is notified along with your shared GPS coordinates. The campus-specific app is available on the Apple App or Google Play store.

We know parking on campus can be a challenge at times. I'm confident that these latest adjustments and features, as well as Gael Safe and our campus safety strategies, will enhance the Saint Mary's experience for all of our stakeholders.

The Department of Campus Safety and Transportation looks forward to serving our community as we move into the new semester!


Manjit Sappal

Executive Director of Campus Safety and Transportation