Staff Editorial

Parking spaces at Lawrence are rare and expensive commodities. If a student manages to obtain one through the lottery system, the cost is $50 per term. If this doesn’t happen, the student is left moving his or her car on a daily basis, in hope of finding an available space that does not conflict with university regulations. The other option is to park in city ramps. A spot there, at reduced university price, also costs $50 per term, though negotiations are underway to further subsidize that cost with LUCC funds.
It seems that too much money, personal and otherwise, is being put into parking spaces. After three parking violations, a student’s car is towed at his or her own expense. The university website, however, claims that the $50 student parking fee is used “to defray costs of parking enforcement.” What are these costs? Surely the $50 fee is not simply funding the salary of security personnel during the limited amount of time they spend each day enforcing parking regulations.
Given the scarcity of student parking spaces, perhaps the university should consider the needs of individual students, beyond physical and medical conditions. Student employment and frequency of car use could be considered, instead of arbitrary assignment according to lottery-based results. After all, having a car is more of a necessity for some students than for others.
The Lawrentian respects the aesthetic and practical intentions of the university’s parking regulations, but we question what the university’s goals are in charging students for the use of parking spaces. University regulations alone, without the additional cost to students, do all that is necessary to severely restrict parking availability. It seems that the parking fee put upon students may be an unnecessary one. Perhaps this extra money that students pay is being put to good use, but in what way? We would like to know how that money is being used, and how that use is relevant to our ability to park on campus.