Students feel parking fee is too expensive

Student+parking+on+the+campus+of+Alabama+State+University+has+been+relaxed+for+the+past+year%2C+due+to+the+pandemic.++However%2C+on+Feb.+10+students+were+notified+that+they+must+have+a+parking+decal+in+order+to+park+on+the+campus+and+the+cost+of+the+decal+is+%2470.

Photo by David OLANIRAN/MANAGING EDITOR FOR VISUAL AND MULTIMEDIA

Student parking on the campus of Alabama State University has been relaxed for the past year, due to the pandemic. However, on Feb. 10 students were notified that they must have a parking decal in order to park on the campus and the cost of the decal is $70.

Christine Shelton, Editor-in-Chief

The Alabama State University Deputy Chief of Police and Public Safety Tony Simmons sent an email on Feb. 10, notifying all students that they would need to pay a $70 parking fee and obtain a decal to park on campus.
With only two and one half months left in the semester, the sudden need to increase fees for parking have some students skeptical about the university’s intentions.
“A lot of students, myself included, are wondering where this money is going,” said Corryn Carter, a junior communications major with a concentration in public relations. “At this moment, students don’t even have adequate parking, so paying for a decal feels like a money grab to pay for things that most of us are unable to even partake in, like those new buses. We’re also still amid a pandemic, so everyone’s money is tight. It just feels like another attempt at bleeding students’ pockets, and even if it’s not that, the way they handled communicating the fee increase, without ever detailing what we’re actually paying for, makes it feel that way and further damages an already broken relationship between students and administrators.”
While this sudden notification of the parking fee was presumed to have been sent to the entire student body, several students claim they never received an email.
“Something about this just doesn’t sit right with me,” said Shalyn Brown, a senior biology major. “The fee increase coupled with the deadline only being three days after they sent out the email was inconsiderate, to say the least, not to mention, some students didn’t even receive the email because I know I didn’t. Once again, this is the university attempting to solve a problem they created without fully considering the students.”
Like many students, sophomore political science major Muhammed Ali feels that students’ tuition dollars are never enough for the university, and asking them to pay more money during a pandemic is absurd.
“Students’ tuition practically pays the bills to keep this institution running, and we should be accommodated, especially in a pandemic,” Ali began. “It seems they are never satisfied, and they want us to fund everything when some of us can barely afford to be enrolled here.”
Much like Carter and Ali, senior biology pre-health major D’Andre Kelley feels that the need for a parking decal is just a ploy to have students’ give the university more money.
“I feel like the school is trying to take money out of students’ pockets. They are implementing parking fees, and it just doesn’t make sense,” Kelley said. “The parking decals haven’t been enforced all this time, so why now? They should’ve fixed the parking lot a long time ago, then this could have been avoided.”
While these fees are more likely to affect the students who reside on campus, those who reside off-campus still feel it was wrong for the university to hit students with these fees three days before they had to pay.
“My benefit doesn’t have a stake in it since I live off-campus. However, I will say it is unfair to create this fee when students are already struggling to pay their tuition and feed themselves during this pandemic. I think they are driving more people away from campus,” said Najah Buck, a senior psychology major.
Between the pandemic and short notice, this new parking fee and decal seem like more of a hassle for students rather than a solution.
“I understand the university needs to repave the Acadome parking lot, but it should not have been at the expense of its students,” DeShawn Bridges-Jessie, senior marine biology major, said. “I just feel like they should have considered the timeliness of this as well as how the students would react to being asked to pay more money out of pocket.”