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Don’t pay to park!

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fred-carley.jpgWe are all paying too much to park in a prairie.

Here in the prairies, at the foot of Baculite Mesa, lies the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo. CSU-Pueblo has over 20 areas on location for people to park.

There is a stipulation though, the pass. Even if you are a registered student, a pass must be purchased from the school for permission to park in these areas. If not in compliance, a ticket with a $50 fine will be placed on the windshield of your car or $20 for improper pass. In the fall of 2008 a hanging pass was $75 and a sticker was $50. Now, passes are half price and only valid for the current semester.

With a census count in the fall of 2008 of 4,610 students, the college made a huge chunk of change considering the amount of students that do drive.

It is unfair for the students to have to pay for parking and ridiculous that these are permit-required lots. I would understand the reasoning for the charge, if the campus were in the middle of the city, such as Colorado University-Denver or an Arizona State University where parking is very limited due to space.

We are in the middle of a prairie. Are citizens of Pueblo going to park their car here and walk to work downtown? Is there not sufficient parking for the campus to have visitors?

Parking should be involved in student fees. I am not saying for the school to raise tuition the extra money to compensate for loss of the parking fee, because that would be unfair to those who don’t drive.

I am saying to get rid of it. Get rid of all of it, the pass, the parking patrol, the signs, and all the other stuff needed for the system. Have one or two students get a small stipend to patrol a staff parking lot. Start a small campus security, ran by Sociology majors for students who are studying criminology.

Last, visitor parking is dumb. We should want other people to come here park, hang out, and make use of the facilities. Even build more facilities to attract non-traditional students; like a skate-park, a bike-track, an ice rink, etc.

Maybe the school could try to brand itself a little more to those that aren’t planning on going to college. Attract all demographics to the campus, promote college life, get the community involved, and possibly throw events for non-students. This would definitely help other statistics that are being targeted, like enrollment, and could bring in additional funds for the use of facilities and branding of the school.