By Alejandra Arana |Staff Writer|
There needs to be a grace period at the start of each quarter to give students more time to purchase parking permits so they don’t receive harsh fines that could cripple them financially.
Parking Services needs to be more accommodating to students who are struggling to get by.
Imagine you are a freshman coming onto campus for the first time.
You are in a rush to talk to the financial aid office because for some reason all of your classes were dropped and now you have nowhere to show up on Monday morning.
You take the first parking spot that is available and get in the long line for financial aid that ends around University Hall.
Two hours later you come out frustrated because no one seemed to help your situation and there is a bright yellow paper on your windshield that says “Parking Violation.”
Now on top of all your school fees and other bills for you have the added pressure to pay the parking fine and still the actual permit.
CSUSB is a commuter school and the revenue on parking has soared over the past few years.
As of this past fall quarter all parking permits are $102 and the annual pass is $306.
Add that to the books, lab manuals, tuition, and for some, room and board, and it makes it very difficult to come up with the money for school.
Money is tight for everyone, and there are quarters where students can’t afford the permits before the quarter starts.
Instead they are forced to purchasing them after each quarter has begun, usually waiting for a paycheck.
Student Marina Serna comments, “I think there should be a grace period because not everyone can afford the cost every quarter. Some people don’t get any financial aid so it gives them a little more time to get the money they need [to pay].”
Even when the financial aid disbursement comes through for those who receive aid, they are sometimes left with nothing to cover the permit.
At the beginning of each quarter lines begin to form outside of the Parking office, making it very difficult to purchase the permit.
“The parking information office is packed with people so having to buy a pass on top of finding your classes and getting there on time is a mission,” said student Priscilla Gutierrez.
The only options students have left is to pay a day-to-day fee which is $5.
That’s like a meal that you can’t eat every day you are unable to pay for the quarterly pass.
“Many skip the line and buy a day-to-day pass but that’s one more thing to worry about besides homework, due dates, and a job, so a grace period would be fantastic and put many students’ life at ease,” said student Maria Medel.
Personally I believe there should be a grace period every quarter so we can get caught up with our payments on other things because I myself received a parking violation. Financial aid is not enough for some students to pay for all these expenses, and I sympathize with those of you who have gotten a ticket.