Not all student fees cause negative impact, some worth the expense
April 3, 2014
Recently, the SRU Council of Trustees voted against raising the parking permit fee for students. The cost of student parking permit will remain at $25.
We think that the council, while acting on behalf of students to keep prices lower, could consider making fees higher in the future.
The parking fee right now is $25 for the entire year. Certain local apartment complexes charge $50 per semester for students to park, and students willingly pay that fee. Parking shouldn’t be astronomical because of our rural campus, but raising it to $25 per semester, or $50 a year, is something that is affordable to students.
An anonymous suggestion from the university’s page on budgeting suggested this, “Parking on campus is a privilege to those students who purchase a parking permit. However, we offer the cheapest parking to our students I have ever seen (I have worked at five other universities). We could easily charge $100-$300 per semester and perhaps a few students would not make the purchase, but the revenue from that alone would be reoccurring and considerable for such an easy change.”
The anonymous suggestor went on to say “I see cars with no permit or a student permit parked illegally on campus daily. Simply being diligent with officers/ticket writers working throughout each working day would certainly prove to be very profitable.”
While we disagree with charging as much as $300, we agree with the idea that raising the fee a little would discourage some students that live within a walkable distance to campus from driving and taking up bona fide commuter’s spots.
The council also failed motions to approve a late payment plan increase from $15 to $30, a 2 percent fee increase for the traditional dorms and R.O.C.K. apartments, a 2.75 percent increase to the meal plan fees and an applied performance music lesson fee.
The council did, however, approve a 2.1 percent increase to the meal plan fee, which is contractually obligated. Even with the proposed 2.75 percent increase that the council denied, the funds that support AVI food services would be running a nearly $3,000 deficit. With even a small deficit present, we think that the council should have considered raising the fee.
Ultimately, the council looks out for the expenses that have to come out of students’ pockets which we appreciate, but that shouldn’t necessarily mean all fees are bad fees.