Editor, Daily Nexus,
The one thing that has become apparent to me since attending college is that Wu-Tang Clan was right: “Cash rules everything around me.” UCSB is no exception. The administration’s greed manifests itself most clearly in parking policy, and it extends to taking money out of the pockets of disabled students.
Disabled students are forced to purchase a parking pass if they wish to park in the handicapped spaces reserved for them. This is morally repugnant. A student who cannot use his or her legs does not have the option of walking or biking to class for free. For individuals like this, driving to school is not a choice. Disabled students should not have to fork over additional funds just to attend class.
This is disgusting enough, but the university goes even further. If you happen to break a leg and need to get a temporary 30-day medical parking pass until you recover, it will cost you $55 – no cheaper than it costs any walking student. These passes don’t even allow you to park in handicapped spaces. So if all the regular permit spots are taken, you’re screwed unless you want to park in a lot not adjacent to your class, which defies the entire purpose of the pass to begin with – to minimize the distance temporarily disabled students must walk.
No one should be surprised at how money grubbing the school is; greed fits in perfectly with the tenure of past policies. Remember the night-and-weekend parking initiative that was passed by a vote of the students last year? We approved a lock-in fee to keep night and weekend parking free. On the ballot, there was absolutely no mention of the permits that would be required to park during those periods. But as soon as we came back to school in the fall, those shiny solar-powered permit dispensers were in place to facilitate a permit plan that was not approved by the students.
Personally, I voted for the initiative so that when friends came to visit from out of town, they would have a place to park. However, since you can only get one 30-day permit per person, if you park on campus, your friends can’t. This underhanded scheme is tantamount to having a vote to “keep the Nexus free,” and then carding every student who picks up the newspaper in the morning. UCSB shouldn’t have parking fascists devoted to separating you from your beer money. The university should focus on teaching students instead of chasing cream.