Parking on a Niagara College campus is available to students, faculty, staff, visitors, clients and guests.
Purchasing a parking permit does not guarantee a parking space, but negates the necessity of paying a daily parking fee. Parking is accommodated on a first come, first serve basis. It is recommended that consideration be given to alternate modes of transportation such as the transit system or carpooling. – Niagara College Parking Overview web page.
Just take a moment. Reread what’s written above. Take a moment and let the information sink in. Just think about what that really means for students.
According to the Niagara College website, for students to have a chance at getting an on-campus parking spot they must pay a couple hundred extra dollars; the reason being that students should look into bussing or carpooling.
Now, that being said, the bus pass is covered in students’ tuition and students have the option of getting their money back if they don’t plan on taking the bus, although that’s only if they are able to find the information about when that deadline is.
So, why is it that the college can’t provide the same policies for those who want to park on campus?
It is understandable the college would want to keep up appearances about being a green community and would want students to use a more environmentally friendly way to get to school. However, a lot of college students have vehicles, particularly those who commute from out of town. Not everyone is able to find housing at a reasonable distance from the school and not everyone wants to.
By creating large fees for those who want to park their car at school every day, it is punishing those students.
That’s not to mention that while everyone who wants to park on campus pays the same fees, depending on which parking pass they buy, not everyone is guaranteed a parking spot.
At the Welland campus there are seven parking lots available to students, but only six if you purchase a parking lot pay-at-the-kiosk tag. Premium parking right in front of the school is designated to daily paid parking only and if you park there with a pass you will surely get ticketed.
At the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus there are two large parking lots divided into sections and at the Maid of the Mist campus there is only one. These campuses are a little different than the Welland campus, because anyone can park anywhere. There aren’t any parking lots designated for daily paid parking.
Still, no matter what campus you might be at, there isn’t enough parking.
At the Welland campus, students need to get there early if they want a spot, since most of them are taken by the time 10:30 a.m. rolls around.
If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who arrive at that time, then enjoy your walk from the gravel parking lot that isn’t even an official lot.
Logically, the college must realize there aren’t enough parking spots to go around, but that doesn’t stop it from over-selling the passes.
There’s always those students who buy passes and decide not to come to class or those students who drop out halfway through the semester, but the parking lots are still full and the passes are much too expensive for the services students get.
According to the Parking Services page on the college’s website, the fees students pay go towards the maintenance, construction and administration of the lots and their operations.
Yet, this winter the parking lots were never salted and rarely plowed, creating dangerous conditions for students to drive in. People were scared to park their cars because of the fear that someone might hit their car by skidding on the ice.
What the administration needs to understand is that this is college.
These days, students are burying themselves in debt just to get a better education because they can’t get a job without some kind of post-secondary education.
On average, the tuition for most programs this year was around $4,000 with an added $230 if you wanted a parking pass for a full eight months.
That’s a fee some students just can’t afford.
As a result, many students have resorted to parking on roadways close to the school, off campus, but it has resulted in many tickets. A few students have gotten hundreds of dollars in tickets and, with the money they spend paying the tickets, they could have bought a parking pass. However, if they had just done that, they likely wouldn’t have anywhere to park anyway.
Students are paying too much money for their tuition plus the extra for parking, textbooks and other equipment needed for class.
Fees, like parking passes, should at least be included in students’ tuition, but, ideally, should be free.
Students already have enough to worry about, without adding more debt.
If having a fee is absolutely necessary in order to maintain the parking lots, then they should at least be properly maintained. There should not be a fear of parking on campus grounds because the lots are like skating rinks. Parking lots should be plowed so that students can see where the spots are and the maximum number of spots can be filled.
The pay stations should be monitored consistently to make sure they are in working condition for both coins and credit, so anyone needing to use them can do so and avoid being ticketed for the day.
If you can’t afford a parking pass, you might want to park on campus still. Students who do park often complain about being ticketed for ridiculous reasons, even if they are parked legally. Some excuses written on tickets are things like being parked too close to the curb, a driveway, or an intersection.
Of course, many other colleges and universities run their systems along the same lines.
Brock University has different prices for each of its lots; it depends on which zone you want to park in and how long you want to stay. This year, the university’s full eight-month parking pass for the general parking in Zone 1, Lot A was $365. However in Zone 2, Lots T, U, V the full eight-month pass is $262, the closer you want to park to the school the more you have to pay.
Students are being forced to dig themselves into deeper holes of debt every year they go to school, just to have the privilege of parking their car.
It’s not right and it’s not fair at all.