Parking should be free for students, or at least less expensive

Christine Colleran

Come this May, it will have cost me $11,000 dollars in tuition alone to attend school this year. Factor in books and supplies and you are looking at around $12,000 in one year of education costs, a lot of money to become well learned! However, in my opinion, education is always a worthy investment.

What really frustrates me, however, is the fact that despite my $11,000 investment in Grand Valley and my future, Grand Valley can not supply me with a parking space. No, I am not satisfied with 20 free commuter passes, I think my tuition and dedication to the university deserve more than that.

I am well aware of the economics of the situation. There exists a limited amount of parking, demand for spots is high, and costly passes help alleviate some of that demand. We generate revenue from selling parking passes, over $3,100,000; and we collect just under $200,000 from students who receive parking tickets. This is well and good, but my tuition costs still went up this year, so I wonder how influential the revenue from parking passes and parking tickets truly is.

I think there are ways to bring parking costs down for students, and allow easier access to parking on campus. If demand is such that parking simply cannot be free, then parking should cost no more than $50 a semester (parking rates are currently $340 a year).

Another way to allow for more accessible student parking? Eliminate unnecessary costs at our school. One such example is the GVPD. Does the GVPD really need expensive Segways for campus? Can they not travel in cars, by bicycle, and on foot? If we think about it, I believe we can find many other smaller financial cuts that help make up for the revenue Grand Valley would lose by charging less for parking tickets.

I am not one hundred percent positive that the parking change could be effectively made, but I do know that at $11,000 tuition costs, we should demand that someone try. We should also not expect Grand Valley to do all of the research and work on parking issues because, lets face it, we go to an amazing school that keeps administrators busy in other important areas.

I love Grand Valley, but their student parking system leaves a lot to be desired for, and it’s time for us to try and change that.
[email protected]