Parking a major concern

Mia Negron, Guest Columnist

When you think about college, what is one of your biggest concerns? There may be many answers to this question, but one that is often not talked about is the problem associated with parking. For many students the subject of parking has been one of their biggest disruptions to their education.

Concerns with college parking are endless but the biggest problems are the expense and inconvenience of purchasing the pass that coincides with a limited and very crowded lot. I believe faculty and staff of the colleges often do not realize all of the burdens college students face and parking is a subject that should be more widely discussed.

One the biggest problems with student parking, is that on top paying your tuition, buying books, and supplies you must also purchase a parking pass at the cost of $48 with tax. If you chose not to buy the parking pass you are offered parking pass stations and meters but with very limited time. What is even more ridiculous is how much a ticket will cost if the meter runs out or the parking pass is not visible. The Los Medanos parking fine is $40 — almost 85 percent of what a semester parking pass costs in the first place.

To top it off you are paying for pass in an overcrowded lot you have to scavenge to find even a ridiculously far spot. Most students work an average part-time job getting paid minimum wage and should be able to use their money to relieve their stress and live their life rather than pay for parking. It is very frustrating because it often feels as if we have a force going against us students when we are trying to do something positive with our lives.

Furthermore, another matter worth discussing is the convenience of where you are able to buy a parking pass.  You would think since it is a requirement to purchase a parking pass they would be more readily accessible, but that is far from the truth. In order to purchase a parking pass you must make your order online with a credit card, until you receive your new one you must print and display a temporary pass.

There are multiple problems with this; one being many things can go wrong in the process receiving it in the mail. A student should not have to have extra work and burden of printing a temporary pass, worrying about the expiration date, and waiting for their pass in the mail. In my personal experience this has been the most difficult task of receiving a parking pass I paid for but never received in the mail. It is frustrating when it should be as simple as purchasing and receiving it instantly.

As a result, the difficulty in attaining a parking pass may cause many other hardships and stresses a student should not have to worry about. The ridiculous price of tickets and late fees may put a student in a very tough place financially and can cause lack of motivation to proceed with their education. Students are often young and are more on the irresponsible side and I believe college parking rules sometimes utilize this to make more money.

According to an article on the Washington Post, some colleges may go as far as to not verify degrees to employers and graduate schools if you have unpaid ticket accumulations.  

Being a young person in college may be one of the most complicated times a person may experience and I believe the school has a job of serving the students to make things such as parking a worry free part of their day. I am hopeful that more people may be motivated to discuss and help bring more ease to the college experience.