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LTTE: CSU should cut out or reduce parking fees for students

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. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

Colorado State University prides itself as an institution. It offers an inclusive and high-performing academic community that focuses on outcomes and accountability. With a campus of nearly 34,000 total students, it’s clear the amount of work and maintenance that is required to upkeep such an institution is great.

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However, this semester is different with the COVID-19 pandemic, so many classes might be shifted to online in seemingly random ways. One week your six classes are all in buildings you’re familiar with, but the next week three of those classes might be forced online, shifting your weekly schedule entirely.

A lot of CSU students rely on their jobs outside of class as their sole way of affording rent, food and other expenses. But because of COVID-19, many students have been put out of work yet are still expected to pay for tuition, textbooks and other on-campus expenses as though everything is normal. Most students can still pay for tuition, but others can’t without additional help, such as financial aid.

The only option CSU students have right now to continue their educational careers during this pandemic is to plunge even further into debt. 

When it comes to our tuition, the average yearly tuition for CSU in-state students is $9,426 which is also 31% more expensive than the national average four-year tuition of $7,203.

On top of the yearly tuition students have to pay to stay enrolled, students who live off campus also have to pay to park. The tuition we pay goes toward academic support for the University as well as supporting staff salaries but not toward the upkeep and development of the parking services on campus.

Inherently, there isn’t anything wrong with the University charging for parking on campus and campus upkeep. Doing away with the parking fees would be detrimental to the success of the campus, but what about the success of the students? With the rough total of 34,000 students enrolled at CSU, there are only 13,000 parking spots available for students with a permit.

Putting out hundreds of dollars a semester for a parking permit doesn’t even guarantee you a spot when one needs to be on campus. Any other time, most of us can afford this as we still have work. Right now, reality is different than how it was a few months ago in that many students cannot find employment, and CSU should be empathetic and respond appropriately.

If a student only has to be on campus three out of five days because of how their classes were distributed in person and online, why should they be expected to pay the full amount of parking if they are only going to be on campus a fraction of the time they would normally spend?

In such an unprecedented time for everyone in the world, compassion and compromises are very important right now for the well-being of our community. If CSU so proudly promotes the accountability of its campus, it needs to be apparent in the financial lives of students by reducing the price of parking to reflect the time spent on campus this semester.

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Sincerely,

Nathan Sky

Journalism and media communications student

Letters may be sent to letters@collegian.com. When submitting letters, please abide by the guidelines listed at collegian.com.

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