The current parking permit fee is $68 for each semester.
If Lot J is renovated over the summer, students could be
paying $102 a semester.
Esteban Cortez / The Collegian
The $34 raise per semester would fund Lot J renovations starting in the summer
Students may see a $34 parking permit increase to $102 a semester starting fall 2012.
In 2009, Associated Students, Inc. passed a referendum that would allow for a parking pass increase after a parking garage was built.
In an April 22, 2009 memorandum addressed to President John Welty, Dr. Paul Oliaro proposed a parking fee increase from $68 to $136 to cover the cost of the new structure.
However, the structure which would have replaced Lot K and L near the North Gym and provide 900 additional spaces was scrapped due to cost. A new arrangement was made to expand Lot J near Craigs School of Business.
The current plan is to pave over the water basins in between Lot J to make more parking spaces. The construction would take place over the summer and the current parking permit fee of $68 would increase $34, bringing it to a total cost of $102 per semester.
Senator Nicholas Yingst said that renovating Lot J in place of building a parking structure would be more cost-efficient.
“Cost and benefit of the parking structure is quite bad compared to simply expanding parking lots,” Yingst said in an email. “The parking structure would add about 900 parking spots while requiring a 100-percent fee increase, whereas the additional spots provided by expanding Lot J would only require only a 50-percent increase.”
Yingst said at Wednesday’s Senate meeting there are 8,000 parking spots on campus and that with the new plan about 600 spots will be added.
ASI President Selena Farnesi said the referendum passed back in 2009 agreeing to Oliaro’s proposed fee increase should no longer apply since the agreement was to increase after a structure was complete.
“The issue is that originally the campus had students vote on a fee. And in that vote, students voted yes, but the document they voted on says, after a parking structure is built,” Farnesi said.
“The campus is now saying ‘Well, you guys already voted yes, so we’re going to do this instead,’ and our argument is, ‘No we voted yes to enact a fee after a parking structure is built — not yes to any fee or any increase.’”
Farnesi said that the university shouldn’t make this decision without student consultation because student consultation was previously sought for a fee increase back in 2009.
Farnesi said that Oliaro said no student discussion was necessary because parking on campus is a decision students can make, and would therefore makes the increase a Category Five Fee in The California State University Student Fee Policy.
According to the document, Category Five Fees are “Fees paid to self-support programs such as Extended Education, Parking and Housing including materials and services fees, user fees, fines, deposits.”
Farnesi brought the issue to the senators attention at the meeting and said she’d like to work with senators to draw up a resolution.
“My feelings about them calling it a user fee — I feel like that’s just unfair,” Senator Parmita Choudhury said. “It’s a commuter school; people need a parking pass — they have to drive here.”
For now, Farnesi said the best thing students can do is write to ASI and give their opinions on the matter so that ASI can give student input to the university.