Gimme a break! …or a parking spot

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The first week of classes always brings a certain level of excitement and anticipation. Unfortunately, it also provides a giant feeling of dread at the prospect of finding parking on campus.

Students who wish to have the great privilege of parking at Riverside City College must pay $40 for a permit.

However, when parking becomes such a hassle that it causes frustrated students to give up on their education and drop out, one must wonder if it is fair to charge students for a service that is so broken.

Forty dollars may not seem like much, nowadays it’s the equivalent of a tank of gas, however, for a college student that money could go towards taking another class and furthering their education.

To the average student who has a class that starts between 9 and 10 a.m. they must plan to get to campus at least an hour early to have time to fight for parking because it is obvious that parking at RCC has turned into a fight.

There is a two week grace period to get acclimated and pay for parking permits, but then come the parking tickets if a car does not have the proper sticker on it.

If it takes more than two weeks to wait for people to drop or finally give up and park at the mysterious Lot 33, why should students pay for parking within those weeks?

Since the students will clearly have to suffer through this for more than two weeks, they should be given a semester off from parking fees.

Ever since Lot B, the parking lot by the Digital Library, and Lot K, the parking lot by the Aquatics Center, were shut down due to the new construction on campus, parking has been appalling for students and faculty.

Even parking lots like the one near Cosmetology and the baseball field are extremely full by 9 a.m., making those who have classes at later times consider waking up earlier than planned.

While it is too late to argue about the intelligence in having simultaneous construction projects going on, the question of whether the consequences for students was ever considered should still be asked.

It almost feels like a slap in the face entering the campus looking at a sign saying thanks to the community tax dollars this construction can still go on during a financial crisis.

To students that sign translates into “after causing you to pay higher prices on your tuition and having fewer classes while there is an increase of students, we have decided to take away your parking to add to your pain in search for higher education.”

It only makes some students wonder how all this money is really helping the college reach its goals in higher education.

For the students who are suffering from the high increase of fees, giving them a break from scraping up the $40 to pay for parking permits will make a difference in them achieving their goals.

Even though the parking permits are reasonable compared to other colleges and universities, it is not reasonable at all if students are still trying to find a spot beyond the two week grace period.

With the declining economy the fees will increase and so will the amount of students who will be attending within the next few semesters.

When the construction is done, parking spots will still be limited.

And soon Lot 33 shuttle will start filling up with students quickly.

Students have been making a lot of sacrifices for their education lately, and while parking may seem like a small matter in comparison to tuition hikes and budget cuts, easing the burden will go a long way towards boosting students’ morale, thereby keeping their education on track.

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