I’ll pass on parking
By Shayla Armstrong
This year, students at Northern Arizona University (NAU) shelled out nearly five hundred dollars per parking permit, an unreasonable amount of money to pay for a parking pass with very limited uses. Each permit is only active in certain areas of campus. Though several parking zones exist, different permits are required for use in each zone. These restrictive zones are making transportation for students and staff exceedingly difficult.
There is a direct correlation between strict parking restrictions and students being late, and in some extreme cases, even missing classes. For freshmen getting acquainted to campus sites and schedules, the inability to park everywhere on campus has become quite the issue.
Lindsay Harper, a grade-orientated freshman living on campus, mentioned, “Having a car on campus is nice for when I need to drive back home, but it is unfortunate that I cannot use it around campus.” Harper mentioned how this past week, she waited for nearly half an hour to get on one of the NAU shuttles.
“Every shuttle was full, and by the time I made the decision to walk, class was almost half over. By that time, I would have been marked absent anyway, so what was the point of even showing up?” Harper said.
Many students also said they would skip class if they had to wait longer than thirty minutes for a bus. This problem is especially troubling for students who only have 20 or 30 minutes to get to the other side of campus.
Just when students believed this issue couldn’t become any more complicated, the parking meters from the front and back of Cline Library were recently removed. The roads around NAU are already backed up enough, and now that students can’t access these meters, they will be on the road longer searching for a parking spot. Parking garages are always an option, but after calculating the cost of a daily parking pass, a student could end up spending an extra $520 per year.
An even more astonishing fact is professors also have to pay to park their vehicles on campus. Professors aren’t millionaires, and as much as it hurts the pockets of students to pay these fees, it’s not a walk in the park for faculty to pay for them either. According to the Parking and Shuttle Service through NAU’s website, professor’s parking permits are $390 per year. These professors went to school for a significant portion of their lives to contribute research and discoveries from their field, and if allowing professors to park without charge on campus is unaffordable, why not put the school’s funding to better use? Instead of depositing so much money into new exercise equipment the Health and Learning Center doesn’t need, our school could have used that money to help lower the costs of parking permits.
Allowing students and faculty to park in a single zone through the entire campus is ridiculous. As student,s we don’t have much expendable income, if any. So, why should we have to put so much money to where we park, when we could be using that money to finish our degrees? We are already buried in debt from student loans, books and class fees. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to pay a small fortune just to park on our campus?