This list is comprised of questions submitted at the February 13th Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Meeting. LMU has committed to responding to all of these questions by the next meeting (May 14, 2014).
Can LMU install trash cans at Loyola Blvd and 80th Street to address littering problem?
Our Facilities Management team works very hard to maintain all areas of the campus including the Loyola Boulevard entrance. We are unaware of a littering problem in that area. If there is an issue, we would appreciate hearing more from our neighbors regarding what they are experiencing/seeing and work together to determine how best to address the problem.
Can LMU install a stop sign at Fordham & 80th Street to curb speeding and illegal U-turns?
LMU does not have the authority to install a stop sign or any traffic related sign or signal on public streets. If you believe there is a speeding or safety issue in your neighborhood, you should contact the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to request an investigation.
The question about this specific intersection was asked many months ago and Councilman Bonin's office has already approached LADOT about the possibility of installing a stop sign at the intersection of Fordham and 80th. The Council office has told LMU that currently LADOT will not consider installing a sign at that location because it does not meet their criteria for warranting a new traffic sign.
Can LMU have off-campus students register their parties with the university?
LMU has researched numerous different models of student/neighborhood relations, and has carefully considered requiring off-campus parties to be registered, as is done at some universities. We have determined, however, that that pre-registration is not necessary as LMU's Department of Public Safety (DPS) is able to conduct appropriate follow up without pre-registration of parties. DPS can and routinely does shut down off-campus parties when complaints are received.
What are examples of sanctions that off-campus students receive for parties and general misconduct?
LMU's Department of Off-Campus Student Life (OCSL) follows up directly with every student identified in a complaint. In addition, LMU's Community Relations Department also follows up with the person filing the complaint (if contact information is provided). Complaints are either handled by OCSL or escalated to LMU's Office of Judicial Affairs for further action.
OCSL has a range of follow up actions including:
- An informational letter sent or phone call made to a student explaining LMU's expectations for conduct in the community
- A house visit and warning letter sent letting students know that a complaint was received and that the next complaint may warrant referral to Judicial Affairs
- Meeting with OCSL within 3 business days
- Mediation services for students and neighbors (this can be offered at any time in the response process)
- Additional university follow-up (i.e. Greek Judicial Hearing Board)
Depending on the nature and severity of the complaint, student conduct issues may be escalated to the Office of Judicial Affairs for further action. Possible sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
- Mandatory attendance at an LAPD noise seminar
- Requiring a letter of apology sent from the student offenders to their neighbors
- A letter sent from LMU to the offending student's parents
- Creative sanctioning including doing a ride-along with LAPD or attending a choice theory class
- Community service performed in Westchester through a list of approved community partners
- A monetary fine which can range from $1,000 to 1500 per resident
- Disciplinary warning
Who do we call to deal with LMU students who party on our street?
We encourage residents to call both the Los Angeles Police Department and LMU's Department of Public Safety (DPS). LAPD has enforcement authority and can issue citations and/or make arrests if laws are being broken. However, it is just as important to call DPS so the university has a record of what happened and can conduct necessary follow up and take appropriate action with the students.
- LAPD Non-Emergency Dispatch: 877-275-5273
- LMU DPS: 310-338-2893
Is LMU buying houses in the area for students?
No, the university does not purchase homes in the area for student use, but does maintain two student residences outside the Loyola Boulevard entrance. Currently there are two houses that are owned by the University that are used for student living. They are located at 8000 Loyola Boulevard (a home for international students), and 8001 Loyola Boulevard (the Center for Service in Action). These homes have been owned by LMU and used for student housing for several decades.
How are property owners being held accountable when student renters hold parties that cause disruption to the neighborhood?
The university is only able to hold students accountable for their behavior. If there is an issue with a landlord or unresponsive homeowner we encourage neighbors to work collaboratively with LAPD and the City Attorney's office to follow up with the property owner.
What can be done to address the issue of litter and property damage caused by students having a party?
Neighbors should call LMU's Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 310-338-2893 to report any inappropriate behavior by students living off-campus. This includes excessive noise and/or any inappropriate conduct including property damage. Students are guided by a code of conduct, which applies both on and off-campus and includes being respectful of neighbors and being diligent in maintaining a safe and clean environment. Once a report is filed with DPS regarding off-campus student behavior, the Department of Off-Campus Student Life (OCSL) and the Department of Community Relations will follow up with students and neighbors to address issues.
I've noticed a lot of litter, particularly around homes rented to LMU students. Can the students be asked to keep things picked up?
LMU encourages students to keep their homes and yards free of litter. LMU has provided information for landlords who can require reasonable upkeep of homes and yards as a provision in their leases.
Does anything happen to students if they retaliate against us for submitting a complaint?
Retaliation by our students toward any member of the LMU campus community or the broader community, including neighboring residents, is not tolerated. Students engaged in retaliation are referred to Judicial Affairs for action.
How do you know that the judicial process is working?
LMU routinely reviews our effectiveness by assessing our sanctions, tracking recidivism, and evaluating judicial history. LMU is proud of our low recidivism rate. It is also important to note that the vast majority of students who live off campus are in compliance with LMU's Student Conduct Code. With over 1,700 registered off-campus addresses, LMU receives complaints about less than two percent of the homes.
Does the university provide any kind of guidelines or education to off-campus students regarding what it means to be a good neighbor?
Yes. LMU provides continuous education for students about community relations guidelines and policies and what it means to be a good neighbor, beginning from the moment they arrive on campus. We provide ongoing education including:
- Freshman orientation, including how to live LMU's values and reviewing community relations policies
- Online orientation for all students including five videos with quizzes on community relations policies
- Letters sent to all students outlining expectations and guidelines and numerous follow up communications if there is an incident of misconduct to remind them about LMU's community relations policies
- Hosting noise seminars for students
- Hosting LAPD open forums for students
- Working with Greek life, and specifically Greek life presidents, about off-campus misconduct
- Distributing crime notifications from LMU's Department of Public Safety
- Communicating with students before major breaks about behavioral expectations and safety concerns in neighborhood
Transportation & Parking
How much is the current fee for parking permits?
The university charges $335 per semester for students and $696 per year for faculty/staff. The price of parking permits was reduced up to 50% for Pell Grant students, contract workers, and lower income faculty and staff. In addition, based on a recommendation from some local residents and the Council Office, LMU added parking fees to student tuition bills, which was implemented during the spring 2014 semester. This change has resulted in approximately 500 new permits purchased and cars registered on campus.
What is the campus parking capacity?
The current campus parking capacity is 4,300.
What is the occupancy rate?
LMU conducts a parking study every year to determine parking demand and utilization of parking spaces on campus. Our most recent parking study for the 2013-2014 academic year indicated that at peak demand parking on campus is 77% utilized. Peak demand for parking typically occurs between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
What number was LMU's parking fee model based on?
The parking financial model is based on a net-zero budget, which means that the fees paid for parking on campus do not generate any revenue over covering the expenses. The expenses include: 1) offsetting the university's debt service on a portion of the $37 million bond issued for construction of the Life Sciences Building and new parking on-campus, 2) providing financial assistance for parking permits to qualifying lower income faculty/staff/students, and 3) covering day-to-day parking operational costs. Again, the amount of the parking fees was carefully set to cover these expenses only, with no surplus.
What is the estimated daily parking on campus?
The number of cars parked on campus varies by time of day and day of the week. The number ranges from 1,500 to 3,300.
Why doesn't LMU require that all faculty, staff and students park on campus?
LMU communicates to all of the on-campus community of its expectation that those who drive a car to campus, park on campus. LMU is unable to prevent students, faculty, or staff from parking on unrestricted public streets.
Can LMU lower the cost of on-campus permits?
LMU has lowered the costs of on-campus permits by as much as half for lower income faculty and staff, commuter students who receive Pell Grants, and University vendors such as Sodexo employees. LMU set the current fees as low as possible while still covering expenses. The parking financial model is a net-zero budget and with no surplus revenue generated by parking permit fees.
Can LMU make parking "free" by adding $500 to each student's tuition?
LMU has made a decision to charge for parking as a user fee rather than adding to tuition. Campus parking fees are only charged to those who park on campus. However at the request of our neighbors LMU added the parking fee as an opt out charge on the same bill as student tuition to make it easier for parents to ensure that students purchase the parking permits, and to remove an additional step that students have to take if they want to purchase a parking permit on campus.
What solutions does LMU have to encourage more people to park on campus?
LMU has implemented several programs to encourage students, faculty, and staff to park on campus. These programs include:
- reducing the cost of campus parking fees to lower paid employees and Pell Grant students
- actively communicating to all students upon check-in that the university expects that students park on campus
- actively communicating to all parents explaining LMU's expectation that students park on campus
- actively communicating to all new faculty and staff as part of the campus orientation program 1) of the university's expectation that they park on campus and 2) walking them through the sign-up process to register for a permit
- adding the parking permit fee to all student bills as a default, requiring students to opt-out if they are not bringing a car
- providing a vanpool service
- providing carpool incentives
- providing a shuttle to and from the Metro Green Line to encourage the use of alternate transportation (we are currently shuttling 60+ riders per day)
Can LMU shuttle faculty, staff, and students to campus from an off-campus lot perhaps on Mesmer, to alleviate the parking problem?
LMU provides vanpool services, a carpool matching service and a shuttle to and from the Metro Green Line to encourage ride sharing, reduce the number of drivers on the road and reduce the need to park in the neighborhood. Providing an off campus parking lot and shuttle to campus would not alleviate parking in the neighborhood as drivers could still choose to park on the neighborhood's unrestricted public streets instead of using the shuttle.
Can LMU temporarily offer free parking for faculty/staff to determine impact on neighborhood parking?
Parking on the LMU campus was free of charge between 2001 – 2012. During this time, we regularly received complaints from neighbors regarding LMU students, faculty, and staff parking on residential streets around the university. As a result, when we began composing the current Master Plan in 2007, neighborhood participants demanded that LMU build additional parking on campus. To do so, LMU requested that ability to charge for parking on campus to pay for the additional construction. The city approved this request in 2011 as part of the LMU Master Plan.
Can LMU change free parking hours on trash day?
LMU has explored this idea. However based on our research, we found that implementing this proposal could potentially result in a change contrary to what the community is seeking. Because of the net-zero parking model (LMU does not generate any income from parking over what is required to cover the costs of parking operations) eliminating one day's parking revenue each week would require increasing the parking fee on all other days and/or raising the cost of a campus parking permit in order to balance the revenue/expense. An increase in the cost to park may incentivize some people, especially those that do not drive to campus every day, to look for other free parking options. LMU does not want to consider any options that would discourage individuals from parking on campus.
Can LMU enforce its off-campus parking policies and requirements that students park on-campus?
LMU will continue to communicate the university's expectation is that those bringing a car to campus, park the car on campus. However, it is legal to park on the unrestricted streets in the neighborhood surrounding the university. LMU has no jurisdiction to enforce parking policies on public city streets.
Can LMU survey pedestrians to determine whether they are students, staff, faculty, or residents and where they originated (e.g., parked in neighborhood and walked, came from bus stop, came from home, etc.)
LMU assumes that the reason for this question is interest in knowing how many people are parking in the neighborhood and walking/biking/skateboarding onto campus. In 2013 shortly after implementing charging to park on campus , LMU hired Fehr & Peers, a renowned transportation consulting firm, to collect data on the cars parked in the blocks surrounding the university. The purpose of the survey was to assess LMU's impact on neighborhood parking. The survey found that approximately 23% were attributed to LMU students and employees who do not live in the area.
Can the University auto-charge faculty, staff, and students who live far away from campus unless they show proof of using alternative transportation to campus?
Per the request of the Councilman and some Westchester neighbors, as of January 2014 LMU started auto-charging students for parking. LMU implemented the opt-out system which auto-charges a campus parking permit fee to the billing accounts of students taking 7 or more units. These students were automatically charged for a parking permit unless they were not bringing a car and actively opted-out. The opt-out program resulted in a net increase from Fall 2013 to Spring 2014 of approximately 500 student vehicles registered to park on campus. LMU is unable to auto-charge faculty/staff because there is no billing mechanism for faculty/staff as there is for student tuition and fees. However, what we have done is made information about parking and purchasing a permit part of the new faculty/staff orientation process for all new employees. During orientation, we walk new employees through the process of signing up for an automatic payroll deduction to register to park on campus.
Can LMU build multi-level structure in the current Hannon parking lot location above and below ground parking levels?
The current master plan mandates the addition of 600 net new parking spaces on campus. The first 190 of these spaces will be under the new Life Sciences building which is scheduled to open in fall of 2015. The remaining spaces are to be constructed in areas of the campus approved by the City of Los Angeles as part of the Master Plan. Converting the existing Hannon parking lot into a multi-level structure at the existing Hannon parking lot is not part of LMU's 20-year Master Plan and has not been approved by the city.
Can LMU issue preferential parking permits to all registered neighborhood vehicles, with no limit to household permits?
The city, not LMU, issues preferential parking permits to residents. There is a city imposed limit of five permits per household (three annual household permits and two quarterly visitor permits). Unlimited daily permits may be purchased in advance (or the same day) at LADOT's West L.A. office located at 9911 W. Pico Blvd, #B-201, Los Angeles, CA 90035. Daily permits are $2.50 each. LMU has committed to funding five permits per household (three annual and two visitor) for the blocks around the university that decide to create a preferential parking district.
Can someone with a parking permit from another part of Los Angeles use their permit to park in a preferential parking district in Westchester?
No. Preferential parking districts are geographically determined. Someone with a permit from a parking district in North Hollywood would not be able to park in Westchester. However, as an example, if a preferential parking district was established on Fordham Road and Chase Avenue, someone with a parking permit from Fordham could use that permit to park on Chase, and vice versa, so long as they observed the parking restrictions. These preferential parking districts would both be considered in the "Westchester" area.
Can LMU ticket cars that park in the neighborhood?
LMU is committed to continuing to communicate that the University's expectation is that those bringing a car to campus, park the car on campus. However, it is legal to park on the unrestricted streets in the neighborhood surrounding the University, and LMU has no jurisdiction to enforce parking policies on public city streets.
Can LMU make it very clear that parking on campus is free on the weekends?
Absolutely. We will continue to notify students/faculty/staff about the campus parking program, including when parking is free. We are aware of the importance of clearly communicating parking instructions on any communications for events held on campus (e.g., where to park, how to pay, or if parking is free). We continue to reiterate to faculty, staff and students that paid parking hours are limited to Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Can LMU prohibit freshmen and possibly sophomores who live on campus from having cars?
LMU can prohibit freshmen and sophomores from bringing cars to campus. However, we will be unable to prevent them, or anyone else, from parking on the unrestricted neighborhood streets.
How many trips are taken to and from campus each day?
A trip count was generated in 2008 as part of the environmental impact report prepared for LMU's Master Plan by the City of Los Angeles. Approximately 17,000 total trips by vehicle were taken that day. However, it is important to note that the trip count data is not able to determine how many unique vehicles come in and out of campus. For example, one employee driving to work, leaving campus with coworkers for lunch, coming back from lunch, and leaving at the end of the day would constitute 4 trips, even though it is only one vehicle.
It appears that the "opt out" option so that students have to choose to not park has been positive. What percent of students has chosen to opt out? What percent of staff?
38% of LMU students opted out. LMU is unable to auto-charge faculty/staff because there is no billing mechanism for faculty/staff as there is for student tuition and fees. However, what we have done is made information about parking and purchasing a permit part of the new faculty/staff orientation process for all new employees.
Is LMU considered a commercial use and wouldn't parking in the neighborhood by LMU faculty, staff and students be considered a violation of LAMC 24.6.2, which states parking of commercial use vehicles is not permitted in residential areas?
Commercial vehicles are defined in Section 620 of the California Motor Vehicle Code. Whether a vehicle is commercial is not determined by its point of origin or its destination, but by the purpose it serves. Personal vehicles of LMU faculty, staff and students are not commercial vehicles and are not prohibited from parking on public streets.
What can LMU do about the cars that speed down Loyola Blvd when exiting the campus?
LMU has been working with LAPD on a Memorandum of Understanding that would enable LAPD to hire off-duty police officers to provide additional patrols for the neighborhood around LMU – an arrangement in use at USC. The university and LAPD agree that this would be a significant help in improving the quality of life in the neighborhood around LMU. LMU would pay LAPD for the direct costs of hiring and deploying off-duty officers to provide additional crime and traffic suppressions enforcement in Westchester, near the LMU campus. Though off-duty, these officers would have full enforcement authority to issue citations, make arrests, etc. A draft MOU outlining the terms of this agreement was drafted and submitted to LAPD's Contractual Services Section in September 2013. LAPD has been very supportive of and agreeable to entering into an MOU with LMU. LAPD's Contractual Services Section sent the draft MOU to the City Attorney's (CA) office for review, where it has been for the last eight months. In the meantime, LMU's Department of Public Safety is currently looking into acquiring a radar speed sign to use as a speed deterrent. The university would then consult with the city (LADOT and Councilman Bonin's office) regarding where, on city streets or sidewalks we can place the signs.
Can LMU increase transparency of decision-making processes for decisions that affect the community?
Yes. We hope that this Question-Answer document provides our neighbors with more information about some of the things the university is doing and why. This information is available on the community relations webpage (www.lmu.edu/community), along with information on other topics, such as the Loyola Boulevard entrance proposal. We also invite our neighbors to get in touch with us directly at 310-338-2759 or via email at email@example.com with any questions. If desired, we would be happy to post the question and response on the community relations website so all in the community can also have access to the information.
Can LMU broaden channels of communication through additional community email lists and outreach?
LMU believes regular and increased communication with our neighbors is very important. To that end, in addition to the quarterly Neighborhood Advisory Committee meetings, LMU will be reintroducing a quarterly community newsletter. The newsletter will be mailed to all residents in Westchester, Playa Del Rey and Playa Vista for the first year, during which time we will encourage neighbors to sign up to receive the electronic newsletter. After the first year (four issues), the newsletter will only be emailed and available on the LMU Community Relations webpage (www.lmu.edu/community). The university has also been utilizing the HomeTown News, community email groups, and social media to share information with the community. LMU Community Relations will be launching a community Facebook page this fall as an additional channel to reach out to and share information with our neighbors.
Can LMU apologize to the community for the parking situation?
In an open letter to the community dated August 6, 2013, Lynne Scarboro, LMU's Senior Vice President for Administration wrote: "Following approval of the Master Plan, LMU began charging for parking for visitors in the fall of 2012 and faculty, staff, and students for on-campus parking in January of 2013. It became clear that charging for parking resulted in some of our faculty, staff and students parking in the neighborhood. We realize now that we did not adequately inform the community in advance about the start of parking fee program. For that we apologize." LMU is truly sorry for the inconvenience our new parking system caused our neighbors. We remain committed to working with the city and our neighbors to alleviate the parking situation on the streets adjacent to the university. As stated in a previous question regarding what LMU has done to encourage more people to park on campus, LMU has, to date, implemented the following programs:
- Reduced the cost of campus parking fees to lower paid employees, all vendors and Pell Grant students
- Added the parking permit fee to all student bills as a default, requiring students to opt-out if they are not bringing a car
- Created a system of active communications to all students upon check-in that the university expects that students park on campus
- Began actively communicating to all parents explaining LMU's expectation that students park on campus
- Began actively communicating to all new faculty and staff as part of the campus orientation program 1) of the university's expectation that they park on campus and 2) walking them through the sign-up process to register for a permit
- Provided a vanpool service
- Provided carpool incentives
- Provided a shuttle to and from the Metro Green Line to encourage the use of alternate transportation (we are currently shuttling 60+ riders per day)
Are there any plans to issue a newsletter or something on-line?
Yes. In fact LMU will be restarting our newsletter to the community. The newsletter will be mailed to all residents in Westchester, Playa Del Rey and Playa Vista for the first year and available on the LMU Community Relations webpage (www.lmu.edu/community). During that first year, we will encourage neighbors to sign up to receive the electronic newsletter. After the first year (four issues), the newsletter will only be emailed and available on the LMU Community Relations webpage (www.lmu.edu/community). The university has also been utilizing the HomeTown News, community email groups, and social media to share information with the community. LMU Community Relations will be launching a community Facebook page this fall as an additional channel to reach out to and share information with our neighbors.
Can LMU sell reflective vests at the school store so that skateboarders, joggers, and bicyclists will be more visible to vehicular traffic?
My team will work with the new Bike Task Force and Department of Parking and Transportation to issue safety vests to desiring students and employees who bike, ride skateboards, walk or jog around campus, particularly in the evening hours. Additionally, the university will continue to educate employees and students about bicycle and pedestrian safety guidelines.
Can LMU create a bicycle lane on 80th street?
LMU does not have the authority to create a bicycle lane on public streets. However, Councilman
Bonin's office has indicated it can work with DOT to determine the feasibility of this request. LMU would support this initiative if the community requests it.
Can LMU brighten street lamps at dusk and also fix broken street lamps?
No. The streetlights are city property and LMU does not have control over them. If there is an issue with streetlights, residents should call 3-1-1 to report them to the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL). For more information about the Bureau of Street Lighting (streetlight repairs, how to get a new streetlight, etc.) visit http://bsl.lacity.org/contacts.html.
Can LMU limit after hours athletic events?
While we recognize that lighting our outdoor athletic fields is something new that adjacent neighbors have had to adjust to, there are a number of reasons why installing lights on these fields has been a goal for the university for many years. When games and practices could only be held during daylight hours, we found students were missing classes. Academic success is our number one priority for our students, and we want to minimize the number of class hours that have to be missed for students to participate in athletics or other extracurricular activities. Having field lights enables us to have flexibility to schedule some games and practices after dark. We have worked very hard with our neighbors and our light consultant to design the field lights in such a way as to minimize any off-site light spillage. If you have questions or concerns with the lights as they impact your property, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 310-258-2759 and we would be happy to meet with you to discuss your issue further.
What is the timeline for making a decision to fill the open board seat?
The Council Office hopes to have a replacement before the next Neighborhood Advisory Committee meeting in May.
How is One Westbluff going to be a part of the solution and consideration for community issues?
We encourage residents of One Westbluff to attend LMU's quarterly Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) meetings. Additionally, as One Westbluff is adjacent to the university's primary entrance, interested residents should inquire with Councilman Bonin's office about having someone from that community serve on the NAC. Beyond these channels, all residents are invited to engage with the Community Relations Office directly regarding any questions or concerns they may have about university operations (310-338-2759 or email@example.com).
Is LMU aware of the crimes occurring in the neighborhood where students are being robbed of their electronic devices, sometimes at gunpoint?
LMU is aware of the crimes occurring in the neighborhood. Our Department of Public Safety is in regular communication with LAPD's Pacific Division regarding criminal activity and trends. Additionally, we share and try to reinforce LAPD's messages about safety to our employees and students. During the 2013-2014 academic year, DPS received one report of a student who was robbed at gunpoint when she returned to her vehicle parked on 80th Street.
It is sometimes confusing when the term "LMU Community" is used. Are neighbors considered part of the LMU Community?
LMU has used the term "LMU community" when referring to faculty, staff and students. We are part of the greater Westchester community, as are our residential neighbors. To avoid confusion in the future, we will refer to LMU faculty, staff and students as the "LMU campus community".
Can adjacent neighbors be included to receive LMU alerts?
LMU's alert system is designed the same way most systems in place at colleges, universities, and K-12 schools across the country are – to allow the university to send important information and instructions to employees, students, parents, and affiliates during a campus or area-wide incident or emergency. Affiliates include contract employees, vendors on campus, and parents of child care center children. The university would be willing to coordinate with LAPD and LAFD to ensure that local police, fire and emergency responders are also notified.