Once again, the university is trying to get students to pay for something they shouldn’t.
The Chancellor’s Special Advisory Committee on Parking handed over a recommendation to Chancellor Yang this summer, calling for the instatement of weekend and night parking fees. Students would have to pay $2 if they want to park on campus after 5 p.m. or during the weekend.
If approved, the new fees would come around Winter Quarter, giving Parking Services enough time to create a whole new infrastructure for monitoring lots at night and on weekends.
UCSB has already hiked daily permit prices from $5 to $7 – also a recommendation from the committee, put into effect on Sept. 1. The goal of the plan is to decrease student parking around the on-campus residence halls and encourage more students to use alternate forms of transportation. Yang has farmed out the proposal from the committee to the vice chancellors for feedback, a smart move since enacting the new fees would surely cause a shit storm on campus.
It’s too bad students put themselves in this position in the first place. The CSACOP offered a couple of open meetings last school year to hear the student side of the parking. Nobody showed.
But rolling over out of apathy and offering up their tender privates for a kick isn’t consent for the university to have its way with the students. If the Women’s Center has taught us anything, it’s that only yes means yes.
Instating weekend and night fees will cause a variety of headaches and problems for students who want to use the library late at night or those concerned for their own safety. Students who don’t feel safe with a CSO escort will either be forced to scurry home from campus in fear late at night or not leave their houses and apartments at all once the sun goes down. No one should even need to rely on a complete stranger for his or her safety, yellow shirt or no yellow shirt.
Other students who work in places like the UCen or Nicoletti’s and need to drive to work would then lose $2 from their paychecks every night that they worked.
I.V. residents will feel the crunch too, as students who can’t afford to or don’t want to pay the new fees park and walk to night classes or the library. Anyone living near campus will feel a definite crunch.
If UCSB wants to instate new fees or lower the number of student drivers, it should offer more incentives for carpooling. UCSB is currently working with MTD to make the buses more accessible, although nothing is certain yet.
Students who have to rely on public transportation as a result of the new fees would be restricted to afternoon and morning classes and there are no discounted rates or special spaces for students carpooling to UCSB. Vanpool services cost over $100 no matter where you go.
Before the university tries to solve its parking problems by increasing student fees, it should offer some reasonable carpooling and public transit alternatives.
We can’t all afford fancy new permits.