Reed: Students should stand up to CSU’s unethical parking program

Spencer Reed

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

Penalties given out by the Colorado State University parking services encroach on the already financially burdensome lives of college students. These fines may also be unavoidable, considering that scholars who own a university parking permit are still not guaranteed a parking space.

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I find this outrageous. CSU, on the other hand, does not. The university is rather transparent with the fact that that they cannot offer guaranteed parking to the students, even though they paid an impressively high price for their parking pass.

Typical on-campus residents are expected to pay over $600 for their annual permits. Parking passes such as these are for lots associated with the following resident halls:

  • Allison
  • Parmelee
  • Corbett
  • Braiden
  • Newsom
  • Aggie Village

International scholars pay a dramatically lower fee than regular students in these lots at a rate of $176. Those who drive motorcycles have a smaller fee as well. Bikers are only required to pay $276 for an annual pass. Furthermore, students who don’t live on campus and choose to commute to class pay less for their parking allowances than those who live on campus. The fee for commuters is $536.

There are also options for those who aren’t required to be on campus every day of the week. A commuter 10-pack of vehicle passes go for $108, and monthly permits cost $88 for students on campus and $74 for scholars who don’t. CSU offers parking services to students who are only on campus Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for $332. Tuesday, Thursday permits cost $215 for an annual pass.

Colorado State’s parking program is self-funded, meaning that the permit prices listed above help contribute to the university’s parking expenses. There are also a plethora of citations handed out by the parking services every day, which contributes to, “parking lot maintenance, parking operations, and the construction of new parking lots and garages.” Students usually receive no warning for a parking citation. Instead, they are ticketed immediately.

I believe that this system is flawed. There are a number of students who must compete for parking spots on campus, seeing how they won’t be guaranteed one with their parking pass. There are also absolutely no free parking options on campus. This leads to more citations being handed out. If CSU had focused more on their parking situation, instead of a new football stadium for example, this issue might not exist.

I caught up with a member of ASCSU who wished to remain anonymous. The member noted that a bill could to written in the future that would attempt to influence the parking services at CSU to change. This bill would be written after investigating exactly where parking fees and citation payments go. There is no time-table for a bill like this, and the feasibility of it being passed and implemented is unknown.

Perhaps a more promising way to see a difference made to CSU’s parking services would be to contact the Parking Services Committee. This committee is the sum of twelve members: 6 students (4 undergrads and 2 graduates), 2 faculty members, 2 persons who hold administrative positions, and 2 persons from state classified areas. CSU exclaims on their parking regulations page that, “suggestions and proposals are encouraged.”

All suggestions concerning a change in the parking services on campus are reviewed by this committee, and have the potential to be approved. The phone number to call to make a difference in the way CSU’s parking system works is 970-491-7041.

CSU students might want to think twice before trying to park on campus. The cost of a parking pass is higher than some students monthly rent, which is troublesome. It’s even more concerning knowing that some students won’t be able to find a spot to park before class, even though they took the correct measures to ensure that they’re allowed to park their vehicle on campus. There is little convenience offered to students who need to park, and head to class.

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Spencer Reed can be reached at letters@collegian and online at @sbreed96.