Story by Meridian Pearson, Opinion Editor
Parking permits can be purchased through Campus Safety beginning in July and August. Resident permits begin at $300 for an annual pass and $155 for a semester. Commuters have a discounted rate of $105 annually and $65 for a semester. There is even an option to purchase a quadmester permit for $35. Staff permits are free.
Though having a car is not necessary for residential students to attend classes, many residential students with jobs need their vehicles on campus. Whether the jobs are on campus or off, a vehicle makes the commute easier, especially if you need to transport things to and from work. With the expense of parking permits, this can be difficult when you still need to pay for classes, books, and groceries.
The big dream would be that all student workers, regardless of where they work, could access discounted parking permits. But given the focus on accessibility to the college campus, I doubt discounted rates could be offered to students who work off campus. The next dream would be staff permits for on-campus student workers. Though, as wonderful as that sounds, it could cause an overflow of students parking on campus since the permits are free. Because of this, and the fact that Campus Safety still needs income, it is unlikely that these permits could be complimentary.
I would petition for reduced-cost student staff permits, particularly for residential students with on-campus jobs. This way, students could either purchase a permit to park in the lot closest to their job, or have that reduced-cost permit in addition to their residential permit to ease the commute. Realistically, I imagine student staff permits costing $105; the same as annual commuter permits.
This cost would also allow residential students to park for multiple on-campus jobs. For example: if you worked at both the Library and Sturrus, you could purchase a student staff parking permit for both and spend less than the cost of a regular residential permit. This accounts for staff discounts and makes them profitable for Campus Safety, without breaking the bank for students.
Given student budgets and the high cost of residential parking passes, something needs to change to ensure that student workers can get to and from their jobs without issue. The bottom line is that student workers should be able to park where they work, and student staff permits would make that possible.