Students deserve non-pay parking

By By Jonathan Deesing

I used to have a V parking pass. It was glorious. I could park nearly everywhere but the lawn. But eventually, that era came to an end, and I had to buy a U pass. This is where the troubles started. Before I had even paid tuition or bought my books, I was already forking over too much cash for a parking pass. Then I had to deal with limited parking, a problem constantly exacerbated by construction.

Every time I drive through a full parking lot, I look at that $125 piece of plastic hanging on my mirror and sigh.

The U’s most recent effort to limit parking is a bit too much. The A lot north of Presidents Circle has recently become a pay parking lot for patrons of Kingsbury Hall. This is not necessarily for night shows and performances. Often, this lot is closed during the day, inconveniencing many, including employees working in the Park Building. Apparently, Kingsbury Hall has taken precedence over employees and students at the U.

I’m sure that many of you picked up on the fact that I have a U pass, and thus I couldn’t have parked in the former A lot anyway. However, at 5 p.m., those with a U pass can park in A lots. For many who spend an inordinate amount of time here at the U, this is their only reprieve. Having to stay on campus for class or work is then somehow made easier.

Anyone who has spent longer than a day at the U has fought the battle with parking. The ever-vigilant employees at Commuter Services hound students relentlessly with tickets and fines. The pay parking is far from easy to afford on a student’s budget. Faculty and staff must pay $250 for their parking passes, and we even charge disabled people for the privilege of parking at our limited handicapped stalls.

So when administrators at the U decided to eliminate parking spaces by creating de facto pay lots, it was completely unreasonable. I was initially pleased with the construction of this new lot, but it appears that even when new lots are built, the U is dedicated to inconveniencing staff and students. This is especially galling because an official pay lot exists only a few hundred feet away.

I can appreciate the fact that we need Kingsbury Hall and its patrons. However, the U is in fact a university, and therefore, students and faculty must remain our most valuable asset.

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