We’ve all been there; you arrive at school thirty minutes early only to find that you must once again begin your rounds of circling one of COC’s many parking lots desperately looking for a place to park your car before you begin your trek across campus. Before you being to circle the lot for the fourth time, your focus your attention towards the brightly colored placard dangling from your rear-view mirror.
Every semester, we are required to purchase a COC parking pass for forty dollars, that doesn’t even necessarily guarantee a parking spot. For those unable to buy the pass, they can either invest in a $2.00 daily parking pass each day they attend class, or they can reap the consequences and pay a $25.00 fee every time they are cited for not having one.
When comparing forty dollars to larger purchases such as a house or a car, it doesn’t seem like much. Keep in mind though that the majority of students are ones who are working part-time jobs that also have the burden of paying for other expenses such as books and tuition. With no other options since the college resides in a secluded area, the students are forced to pay no matter what the circumstances.
It would like to be believed that COC doesn’t enforce these prices solely to squeeze as much money out of a student as they can, but what leads one to think cynically, is the mere fact that if someone receives a citation because they had forgotten to put up their parking pass that day, they are unable to appeal their ticket.
According to COC’s parking regulations on their website, you are able to appeal your ticket within 21 days of the citation, but must exclude the following excuses as your reason:” Forgot to display parking permit, lack of knowledge of regulations, late to class or important meeting, disagreement with or inability to pay the parking penalty”. With these reasons said, what legitimate argument can you use to dispute your ticket? And why is COC in such dyer need of money that they must cite those who have accidently forgot their parking pass?
In 2009, approximately 23,662 students were enrolled at COC. With every student having to buy a parking pass, that would put the grand earnings somewhere around 950,000 dollars. Now, since I am just a student at COC, I cannot claim that I know all the costs that go into running and maintaining a community college, but there is no denying that a near million dollars a year from parking passes, alone is a substantial amount of money.
The lack of available COC parking and the way it is managed doesn’t only prove to be an inconvenience, but also unsafe as well.
“I have to leave my house an hour early just to spend thirty minutes searching for a parking spot that is far away from my classes. Getting out of my class at 9:30 at night, I am left to walk by myself up two large hills in a dim lit parking lot just to get to my car. It is very dangerous,” Said Tiffany Olson, a full time COC student.
With that said, what exactly does the COC parking pass provide us? A guaranteed parking spot? Of course not. The comfort of knowing that even if you may forget your parking pass one day, you still wont be cited? Not a chance. If COC is going to force their students to buy a parking pass, the least they can do is provide them with a quality service. If they are unable to do such, alternatives must be given for no one should be forced to buy a sub-par product.