Parking Pass Prices Increased for Marywood Students

By Joseph May
Staff Writer

Driving has become a little more expensive for Marywood students. The price of parking passes has doubled from $50 to $100 over the summer.

Along with that hike have come a number of changes on campus. Around 300 parking spots were added on campus over the summer. This brings the total on campus to around 1,700 parking spots. As of September 8 there had been only 1,231 passes purchased, including 788 commuter passes, 326 resident passes, and 117 freshmen resident passes. Campus security has begun restricting freshmen residents to the parking lot near the softball field. However, many prime parking places have been converted from commuter student to faculty only.

Over the summer, while the Liberal Arts Center was being renovated, half of the faculty lot behind the LAC was closed. To make up for the shortage, an extra row of spots was dedicated to faculty and administration in the Performing Arts Center lot. However, with the renovations finished, and the LAC lot now completely open again, the PAC row is still dedicated to faculty and administration only, and remains nearly empty for most of the day. According to the head of campus security, Mr. Joe Ross, there has been no talk of reopening these spots as of yet, but notes that it is still early in the semester for changes to occur. If any necessary changes become apparent, they will come under consideration by the body responsible for parking arrangements on campus.

That body consists of representatives from the faculty, support staff, administration, commuter and resident undergraduate students, and commuter and resident graduate students. These individuals decide which parking lots should be dedicated to the different groups on campus. Hopefully, the next time they gather, they will take note of the one empty row of cars in the PAC, while the rest of the lot remains full for the largest portion of the day.

These changes have created resentment among many students. There are more parking spaces on campus than there are cars to fill the lots, so the law of supply and demand dictates that if the price changes at all, it should go down. Many students feel that the 100% increase is unjustified and unfair. Students already feel overburdened with tuition, room and board, books, fees for every extra imaginable, and transportation. Every increase is felt by every student and/or parent that has to pay for an education. Some students have noted that the $100 fee seems unmerited, considering that they are getting a lower level of convenience than they received last year for half the price.

According to Mr. Ross, it is too early to tell yet if students can expect another increase next school year. It has been many years since the price increased, and never has the cost of parking privilege increased so dramatically. Hopefully, doubling the parking fee will not be the beginning of a trend in school fees. If other areas follow suit and raise rates for items such as lab fees, student activities fees, and other basic costs, for how long will the ordinary student be able to keep up with skyrocketing fees?