Thursday, April 28, 2011

Olivia's Outlook 2/8/2011


Olivia Hefner

by Olivia Hefner
     The second semester is well underway. As to be expected from a university filled with students, so is the complaining. Walking down the hallway, typical class-related complaints like “He favors the young girls,” “Doesn’t she know I have other classes” and the ever famous among English majors, “When am I ever going to need to know how to graph a parabola in the real world?”
     Complaining is normal, and to be expected. However, sometimes it's just ridiculous, like complaining about the parking on campus.
            Oh the joys of being allowed to park on campus no matter what year a student is. Yes, WVU Parkersburg is a commuter school, but it’s still a privilege to park on campus with the extremely low rate of $20 a semester. Even the krill of the college food chain are allowed to purchase parking permits right along with sophomores, juniors and seniors.
            Twenty dollars to park for one semester, or $40 for the entire year is what a student pays to guarantee is brisk walk from the parking lot to the building. That is practically a steal. The only place that offers “free parking” is on a Monopoly board, and since a student can only dream of paying tuition with funny money, it looks like the real world is knocking at the door.
            Take WVU for example, a “guaranteed” parking space is a joke. There are sources outside the college selling spaces for a ridiculous amount and then the meters are always another option. Meters can run students close to $20 per month; three times what a WVU Parkersburg student pays for an entire semester.  Buying a prime space from the college can require students to pay between $300-$600 for a semester of parking.
            Lets move on to ticketing, another situation where WVU Parkersburg students are lucky. The worst thing that happens to a student here is that their grades are frozen until they pay the fine. Well, other universities have their own little city police force that will ticket students at the city rate and those tickets can’t be paid through the school.
             At Ohio University, students are fined $15 (3/4 of a semesters’ worth of unrestricted parking on this campus) for parking too long; parking in the wrong lot; parking too far forward and the list goes on ad nauseam.
            The downfall of the parking system on campus is the inconvenience. Dealing with getting a parking pass is tedious, especially if there’s a line and someone gets mad or people are being unnecessarily social. It’s not that bad, but dealing with it once a year and paying the $40 up front for the entire year would be so much easier. 
     However, some people who graduate in December would feel like they paid too much.
Well, there is a solution, most other colleges offer students a prorated refund if they return the parking pass because they’re transferring, graduating or dropping out. They could even sell them all year, but at least give the option to purchase up front for the entire year.
  The advantages of going to a smaller college are endless, and parking is only one of the many. So next time before complaining, think of how great it is to not spend equal amounts in the bookstore and the parking office.

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