Student 'protests funding allocations' by paying parking ticket in 11,000 pennies

Stephen Coyle said 'students are arguably one of the most fiscally challenged group of people'

Aftab Ali
Monday 13 July 2015 16:02
The pennies Mr Coyle used to pay his parking fine
The pennies Mr Coyle used to pay his parking fine

A student has taken protesting to the limit after being infuriated by a parking fine.

26-year-old Stephen Coyle, from University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), was hit with a $110 (£71) ticket, so decided he would pay the fine in pennies – all 11,000 of them.

Not so much bothered by the fine itself, the vice president of the university’s mathematics club said he didn’t like how the money being collected from fines was being used.

After undertaking some research into the topic, the actuarial science student discovered that 80 per cent of the university’s parking fines fund local public schools and not the university.

The individual boxes of 2,500 pennies Mr Coyle had to get after five trips to the bank (via Let Them Count/Facebook)

In an email to USA TODAY College, Mr Coyle vented his frustration and wrote: “Why are college students – who are arguably one of the most fiscally challenged group of people – supplementing the funding of public schools when this is actually the responsibility of taxpayers?”

He admitted, however, that getting 11,000 pennies together was not easy: he went to the bank five times to get five $25 boxes – which each had 2,500 pennies inside – and they took two staff members three hours and 40 minutes to count out the change, he explained.

His reaction to the parking ticket garnered a slightly sarcastic response from UNCC who said it appreciates the student’s interest and initiative in learning more about the functioning of Government.

Having explained how the university buildings and classrooms were not properly maintained and in need of renovations, Mr Coyle has since started a GoFundMe page to raise $1,000 (£645) for study manuals and other resources for the UNCC Actuarial Science Club.

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