Con: Paying for parking should not be a student expense

Attending community college should not involve worrying about paying for parking. After all, the main reason some students attend community college is to save money on their education.

As college students, there are many expenses when it comes to our education. Among the most expensive are our textbooks, tuition and transportation.

Just because students are paying less for their education, does not mean they should be charged extra for using the campus’ parking.

Sarah Rivkin, a Business Marketing major, is attending her first semester at Pierce College after attending Santa Monica College. Rivkin mentioned that the parking pass at SMC is around $80 per semester and it does not guarantee a spot.

Additionally, students who purchase any parking pass, whether it be the daily pass from the machine or the semester pass from the business office, are expected to wait in long lines. That time could be better spent for studying or doing their homework; things related to a student’s education.

When a parking pass machine malfunctions and is not accepting payments, students who depend on the daily parking pass, may need to park outside of the campus.

Prior to purchasing a parking pass, students must pay all fees and holds. Fees for California residents include the $46 per unit enrollment fee, the $11 health fee, $1 student representation fee, and the optional $7 ASO fee.

Despite all of the expenses we have as students, we are being charged for parking. While students are charged $3 to $27 for parking; permanent staff and faculty of Pierce College are charged only $1 for a permanent parking sticker. For temporary, or part-time teachers parking is free.

Staff and teachers who carpool to Pierce are reimbursed through the Rideshare Incentive Program, but there is no such program for students.

Students who refuse to purchase a campus parking permit of any type, have to park off campus. In such cases, students are limited to parking along the streets of Winnetka Avenue or Victory Boulevard.

This is inconvenient for students, especially since their purpose for coming to Pierce is to get an affordable education. Instead, they have to pay additional fees for parking or risk getting a ticket, or have to find parking off-campus and hope they get to class on time.

Students have noticed that the only parking spaces that remain open during the semester, are mostly staff spaces.

According to Associate Vice president of Administrative Services, Larry Kraus, there are 599 spaces designated for staff parking.

However, students will note, many of those spots remain empty throughout each semester.

Kraus suggested that construction is a contributing factor to the parking issue.

We have lost internal parking, due to the service road being closed off for construction,” Kraus said.

According to Kraus, the parking problem will be relieved once part of the construction is complete, freeing the staff spaces along the service road.