Parking wallet-ache

By Brien Croff

Do you remember walking back to your car to find a parking ticket on your windshield and thinking, “Are you serious?”  If so, you are one of many students who has faced this irritation. If not, and you do commute, you are lucky.

In the past, if your meter ran out of time, you had not gotten your parking permit yet or you were simply unaware of another area to park, the Department of Parking Services would issue “freebie” tickets, where a student’s first ticket violation would be waived.

Starting this year, that policy is no longer in place. Your first ticket will not be waived, and the only way you will be able to get out of it is to appeal. Even more bothersome, in the past, the Department issued warnings the first week of classes rather than tickets, understanding that many students are not fully aware of the parking system yet. This policy has also been scrapped.  Tickets will be issued during the first week. Welcome to Akron.

Akron’s total student population is up to about 29,000 and climbing.  About 90 percent of students commute. Parking on campus has been a problem for years now, one that the University’s Parking Services and student government have failed to address.

Tickets are handed out so liberally, it is a wonder how the Department is not bringing in enough revenue in fines as it is. It is absolutely ridiculous that students have to shell out $25 for their first parking mistake when they are paying $4,600 in tuition per semester to be there. This policy change is going to be met with a lot of frustration and angry appeals, and I can only sympathize for the Department workers taking the calls for that first week.

That $150 transportation fee looks more and more pathetic as tuition increases and the quality of services decreases. I think it is time for UA to reconsider its priorities after it finishes current construction projects.

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