CSU To Charge Parking Fees Starting Summer 2017

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Written by Toni Stauffer


   CSU announced today in a university-wide email that students and faculty will be facing a new fee for parking on campus, starting July 1, 2017.

     Students will be required to pay an annual $45 fee for their decal, otherwise they risk being fined, booted or towed. Faculty and staff will be required to pay $90 annually. Reserved parking decals will cost $180. But what are students getting besides another fee?

     The release says that the proceeds will go towards “upgrading campus security efforts, including additional police officers on campus.” The Saber is working on finding out how much revenue the school expects to collect, and what specific improvements are being considered.

     This fee will be in addition to the parking deck fee students already pay. While all students must pay the parking deck fee, regardless of whether they use it or not, only students who choose to drive to campus will have to pay the new fee.

     “That is a fee tied directly to a bond payment on the deck. By state law, that is the only way we can pay for a parking deck, so the fee goes away when we pay off the deck,” said John Lester, assistant vice president for university and government relations. “At current enrollment trends and predictions, it will probably be about year 2030.”

   The move has drawn harsh initial criticism from students, one of whom began circulating a petition within hours of the release asking students to write to SGA and tell them to oppose the measure.

     Response from faculty has been more measured. “When I was at Georgia State, I paid $40 every month as faculty for parking five blocks away from campus, so $360 a year,” said political science professor Tom Dolan, Ph.D. “If fees are used to improve campus security, including hiring additional officers, I’ll have no problem.” He added that he may have a problem if the funds were somehow not directed to those programs.

   “As far as fees go, $45/$90 are low compared to what I am used to. My Ph.D. is from UC, San Diego, where annual parking fees are $732 (undergrads), $972 (grad students), and $1116 (faculty),” said Dr. Nathan Combes, assistant professor in the department of politics, philosophy, and public administration.        “Even after paying these fees, drivers were virtually guaranteed NOT to get a spot on campus if they arrived between 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., still needing to park in public parking about a mile off campus,” he said.

   Employees working for Aramark and the CSU Bookstore (Follet) are considered to be third-party contractors and have not received any information on their fee status as of yet. Most of those employees have been parking in student lots due to lack of dedicated spaces.