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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Student parking is making me angry

Full general area of the campus parking structure on W Second and Normal. Photo credit: Dominique Wood

Early on a Tuesday morning, my friend mentions we are running behind while on our way to campus. I did not understand what she was worried about since her class wasn’t until 11 a.m. When we arrived, around 8 a.m., I realized what was wrong.

Every single space for general parking was full in every parking structure. After consulting the little map print out she was given when she got her pass, we ended up in a ‘parking lot.’ We were lucky to get a spot since, not more than six minutes later, it was full too. I saw other students looking frantically for a parking spot and, inevitably, having to turn around and start their hopeless journey over again.

As of Friday Sept. 14, 2018 — 2,094 student general parking passes were sold for this semester. 24 motorcycles parking passes, 226 parking passes for University Village and 260 for the other on-campus student housing. Lastly, 498 Faculty/Staff parking passes were sold, according to Anna Magaña, Director of Student Financial Services in an email interview. To put that into perspective, general parking passes cost $121 a semester that is a lot of money and not a lot of parking spaces.

Parking fees are expected to bring $1.4 Million this academic school year for the campus, according to the campus Budget Office. This revenue is divided up among many things. A chart can be found on the campus’ transparency website that allows you to see what was done with funds during the last academic year.

Our campus budget for 2018-2019 is more money than most students can even imagine. Despite not being a financial adviser, I believe there must be money they could put into fixing the parking situation. It is absolutely ridiculous that students should have to waste more time and money, for wasted gas or parking meters, to find a place to park. They have already paid a ridiculous amount for a pass, despite paying thousands of dollars to attend the school in the first place.

Yet, we do not even have enough parking to get to class on time to see these professors. They can build new buildings but cannot find us places to put our cars. Many students do not have the luxury of living close, they must travel to get to class. These travels usually force students to leave for the campus hours before their class even begins just to find a parking spot.

While standing on the top floor of the parking structure at W First and Ivy (at 8:30 a.m.), Senior Christina Scellato says she can spend at least 30 to 45 minutes driving around looking for a parking spot if she doesn’t leave her home early. “I usually have to leave my house way before I have class, just to make sure I have a parking spot,” she said.

Is this all in the effort of creating more money for the City of Chico through parking meters? Given that the city has over 2,000 paid parking spots near downtown, which are listed on the Chico State parking services page, or is it maybe perfect for making money off students who get hungry after waiting for their classes to start and decide to pay the increased price for food on campus?

Chico State must just not understand how frustrating this could actually be to students. Junior Lacie Dant says she does not feel there is enough parking to accommodate the students. “Chico State is a great school to attend,” Dant said. “But my experience with parking so far has almost made me wanna not attend school because parking was just so hard to find.”

With all the new housing developments going up, so more students can be shoved into the city, one would think Chico State might be able to throw the hat in and bid on some property to build a new parking structure. If that is completely not possible, they ought to strike a deal for student parking passes with the City of Chico and their parking. Because walking, riding a bike or taking a bus is simply not possible for some students.

Rachael Bayuk can be reached at [email protected] or @BayukRachael on Twitter.

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  • L

    Lois Cameron // Sep 18, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Rachael, thank you so much for bringing up a problem that many of us are encountering! It is extremely frustrating to have to arrive on campus three and a half hours prior to my first class just to have a place to park. Walking or cycling are not an option for me, as I live one and a half hours from campus. I do hope that the university has some plan in the works towards alleviating this problem for students.

  • D

    Don Bunce // Sep 17, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    • M

      Mark Stemen // Sep 19, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Wow Don, thanks for the shout out. Yes, many students campaigned against the parking structure in 2011 because of the impact to our climate, which you might have noticed has become a lot worse. Firenadoes anyone? Unfortunately I do not have the clout you mention because they built it anyway. We argued at the time it would have been a wiser use of money to expand the bus and bike options for those people that could use them, so the remaining parking would be available for folks coming from outside the area. In 2007, we campaigned that parking permits should only be sold to students living more than a mile away from campus. That would have helped too, but the administration ignored that vote as well. So, we have proposed options that would have actually helped, but the University went with the cheap and dirty options. Go figure.