Student parking costs rise

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Beginning in fall 2008, Skyline College students will be required to pay higher parking fees to help increase parking revenue.

Parking fees will increase from $35 to $40 per semester for Cañada, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College students, effective fall 2008. This will be the second time the parking costs will go up, with the first five dollar increase occurring in spring of 2008.

The increase was approved by the district board of trustees, over a year ago, but has not been enforced until the spring 2008 semester. The result came as part of a plan to generate more parking revenue for the district’s parking fund.

“The decision was arrived at following a comprehensive and inclusive process of consultation and deliberation…” said Lori Adrian, vice president of student services, in an e-mail.

The district’s parking fund is currently in a deficit and, according to the June 2007 minutes for a board of trustees meeting, “Money from the general fund is being used to support the parking fund and could be used to benefit all students, [not] only those who drive.”

Also, proceeds from parking are restricted and can only be used to help pay for costs directly related to parking, such as repairs and general upkeep of the parking lots.

However, the rise in parking costs will not affect low income students who receive a Board of Governor’s fee waiver, according to Kathy Blackwood, the district’s chief financial officer.

The decision to increase student parking fees was not easy, according to Adrian.”It is always a difficult decision to increase fees of any type,” Adrian said. “But the increase was viewed as necessary in order to help cover various costs related to the maintenance of parking lots/spaces.”

But the decision has left some Skyline College students upset and feeling the financial pressure.

“We [students] already have to pay for gas, and now they want us to pay more to park?” said Jasmin Peraza, 18, a freshman at Skyline. “It’s not reasonable.”

Despite the $5 increase, Chief of Security Mike Celeste has had “no complaints” from students, and doubts any notion that there will be a decline in student attendance.

“Last Tuesday every parking lot and stall was full,” Celeste said. “It was the busiest day that we’ve seen so far.”

Celeste urges students who drive to school to buy the permits before the scheduled deadline in order to avoid citations.

“We [security] start writing citations on Sep. 2,” Celeste said. “Students who do not have a parking permit will be receiving them.”

In an effort to ease students who are struggling financially, parking permits can now be purchased yearly for $70, which would be $10 cheaper than purchasing the permits each semester.

Skyline College students who are interested in purchasing a parking permit can purchase them online at WebSmart, or in Building 2.