Community Connect
Office of the Vice President for Community Services

A Nutty Idea: Peanut Butter Payments

Unique win-win campaign educates campus community about parking dos and dont’s

By Lauren Beaver

UTSA alumnus travels to Mexico to study impact of environmental policy

UTSA Campus Services staff donate peanut butter received during the Peanut Butter Parking Campaign to the San Antonio Food Bank.

(Left to right: Two San Antonio Food Bank staff members; Danielle Williams, Hillary Klingman; Javier Munoz, Lauren Beaver, Hilda Guajardo, Elizabeth Messer, and Carissa Gonzales. Photo courtesy of Campus Services.

UTSA Campus Services continually implements new and unique ways to educate Roadrunners about services. The department strives to include potential community benefits in its major projects.

In August 2015, Campus Services launched the Peanut Butter Parking Campaign with the goal to educate students on parking rules and regulations while collecting donations for the San Antonio Food Bank.

The idea of accepting peanut butter for parking citations came from a conversation at the 2014 National Association of College Auxiliary Services Advanced Institute for Managers between Campus Services Director Hillary Klingman and the parking services director for the University of Alaska Anchorage, Glenna Muncy. Muncy highlighted a unique event offered by UAA: once a year, they accept peanut butter and jelly as payment for parking citations. Intrigued, Klingman brought the idea back to UTSA and it quickly took root with the staff.

To further involve the campus community, the UTSA Student Government Association was invited to co-sponsor the event and developed a partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank. The collaboration with the food bank, the recipient of the donations, allowed the campaign to benefit UTSA campuses and the broader San Antonio community.

For the week of August 24 to August 28, 2015, citations for parking without a permit (a $100 violation) and parking without a proper permit (a $50 violation) could be paid with peanut butter: 80 oz. and 40 oz. respectively. Peanut butter payment was valid for one citation per customer and the donation was required within 14 calendar days of the citation date, standard payment applied.

Campus Services used social and traditional media strategies to create on-campus awareness. Staff placed signs in parking lots and high-traffic campus locations, distributed fliers to UTSA departments, and included an informational bookmark in the citation envelope placed on each vehicle. In the campaign’s last stage, UTSA’S University Communications and Marketing department invited local news to campus. As a result, the Peanut Butter Parking Campaign story featured in local TV, radio, and online news outlets.

A total of 702 pounds of peanut butter was collected—172 of which were made as charitable donations by the campus community who wished to participate in the food drive. The campaign resulted in nearly $10,000 saved in citation fees and provided countless meals to the local community. “We take great pride in having a positive impact on the local community as well as the university through this unique campaign,” said Klingman.

The Peanut Butter Parking Campaign provided great momentum to advance our events and promote campus engagement. Through expanded parking education, we hope to further reduce the number of citations issued each year, leading to an even greater reduction in fees paid by students. With every new idea, we strive to fulfill our department motto of Enhancing the Campus Experience.