Students respond to proposed parking fee increase

As Fresno State grows, the numbers of enrolled students climbs every year, making issues like parking a serious problem. Campus officials have proposed the possibility of building a parking structure to accommodate these growing numbers for years to come. This will mean a jump in parking fees, an issue students are clearly divided on.

Every morning, it is common to see students circling the parking lots looking for a space close enough to keep their trek to class at a minimum.

Part of the university’s Master Plan is to build a parking structure next to the softball stadium, on Barstow Avenue and Campus Drive.

The Master Plan is the university’s plan for bringing it up-to-date with technology, remodel buildings and expand the university in both land and student size.

This will also raise the semester parking permit costs from $68 to $136. The structure is planned to be built in 2012 and fees will not be raised until its completion.

This future fee may seem like a large jump for some students, but leaves Fresno State in the medium range of parking fees in comparison with other CSU schools.

Vanessa Williams, 20, a child development major, said that she is against the proposed structure due to its raise in costs and because she says parking isn’t an issue for her — she gets to school early enough to allow for enough parking time.

“I leave home early so I can get a good spot and get to class on-time,” Williams said.

“I don’t like the idea of paying more money when there is plenty of parking in the back of the school.”
Barbara Jessup, 22, a geology major, said that she doesn’t bother to purchase a parking pass because it’s too expensive as it is.

“I park on the street behind the Red Wave,” Jessup said. “Students are broke enough as it is and it’s just going to make it more expensive to go to school.”

Some students, on the other hand, see the parking structure as a great opportunity for Fresno State and are supportive of the idea.

Ashley Llanes, 21, a recreation and leisure studies and administration major, said that she visits her friends at different schools and they all have parking structures at their colleges.

“I’ll be talking to my friends on the phone as I park and it’s a serious war to get a spot,” Llanes said.
“They will hear me freak out on the phone over a simple parking spot that got stolen and they can’t believe I go to such a big school and have to deal with such dumb issues.”

“I’m bummed that I won’t be in school when the parking structure is complete, but in reality, when it’s all said and done, we are paying more and more every year to go to school anyways,” she said. “If they told me that I could get to sleep in an extra 30 minutes every morning if I paid extra, I’d have handed it over in a second.”

Mike Largent, 22, a business entrepreneurship major, believes that the structure will not only benefit students, but Fresno State’s athletic programs as well.

“I know I won’t be in school to enjoy the structure by the time it’s built, but I will be around for football and baseball games in the future,” Largent said. “It will clear more room for tailgates and allow for more fans to park. I think it’s a great idea.”

Largent also said that it’s an everyday struggle to find parking and even though it will cost more, he thinks it will be worth it.

“It may seem like a lot of money now, but when they get to cruise into a stall without a problem and get to class on time, they’ll be getting what they paid for.”

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