Capital University’s Department of Public Safety has increased the price of parking passes for the 2017-18 academic year. Student resident permits are now $200 for the year, while “O” Lot permits and commuter day permits are $160.
This marks the third consecutive year parking passes have increased in price. The Department of Public Safety expects the price increase to encourage more students to consider whether having a car on campus is a necessity.
Police Chief Frank Fernandez explained the reasoning behind the decision.
“We went through a lengthy process right after graduation,” Fernandez said. “The goal is always to keep cars moving and offer parking for commuters, guests and visitors.”
Fernandez added that the increase in price and added time restriction on certain lots prevents cars from becoming storage units.
“Save $200 if you don’t really need the car,” he suggested.
Fernandez also noted that, when it comes to the price of parking passes, the university is about average compared to other schools.
“We looked at other institutions,” Fernandez said. “John Carroll charges around $350, and Dayton is about $225.”
According to the universities’ websites, Otterbein University and Ohio Dominican University parking passes cost anywhere from $70 to $150 per year for full-time students, while Ohio State University charges anywhere from $300 to $900 for campus parking.
While the new price is about average, students are feeling the financial strain and inconvenience of the price increase.
Katie McKinney, a fourth-year student at Capital, expressed her dissatisfaction with the price of parking passes.
“This is a sensitive subject for a lot of students who already pay a lot to go here and stay on campus,” McKinney said. “Why make us pay close to $300 for a place to park our car?”
Olivia Doty, an art therapy and psychology major, says she was blindsided by the price increase.
“The price increase for a parking pass blindsided my budget,” Doty said. “I had no other choice but to use at least two semesters worth of textbook money to pay for a pass, simply because I have an off-campus internship.”
Enforcement of parking policies is the next step in freeing up parking spaces on campus.
When asked about what that enforcement will look like, Chief Fernandez said Public Safety officers were lax the first week, but enforcement will begin the second week of fall semester.
“Parking violations are $45,” Fernandez said. “After the third violation, the Dean of Students can prohibit parking on campus.”
In the past, Student Government has offered raising the penalties for parking violations as a solution.
“They wanted $100 tickets, but the goal is not to penalize students,” Fernandez said. “We are trying to teach consequences for wrongdoing.”
Student Government President Jason Fugate informed the Chimes, however, that Student Government was not responsible for the increase in prices.
“Our senate has not passed any legislation for this academic year,” Fugate said. “We also did not have a parking initiative last year and were not a part of the pricing change decision.”
Many students have suggested investing in a parking garage to ease the stress of finding parking on campus, but Fernandez explained that each parking space in a garage would cost around $18,000.
Campus Safety will continue to encourage students to carpool, use public transportation and take advantage of car services like Uber and car2go.
“Give Public Safety a call if you can’t find a spot,” he said.
If you let Public Safety know where you’re parked and for how long, they can let officers know to withhold any parking violations for a certain amount of time.
Parking on campus remains a concern for students, faculty and staff, but only time will tell if the latest efforts to free up spaces has any success.