USF Needs New Parking Policy

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For many college students, spring break has already ended. This means returning to the same old habits of school life: going to classes, studying for exams, etc. For students like me who commute to school, it means going back to hours spent looking for parking.

As a student at USF, I know how frustrating it is to find decent parking.

USF does have a parking garage, however the permits to park there are not cheap and parking is limited.

USF offers a variety of parking permits for commuters. A full-time parking permit costs $255.00 per semester and is the most expensive of all the parking permits. The daily parking permits for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays is $8.00, and the permits for Tuesdays and Thursdays is $15.00.

These types of permits are the cheapest, but the cost of paying for them over time would add up to hundreds.

The fees for parking at USF are pretty pricey, especially for a college student like me who does not have extra money to spend on an outrageously expensive charge.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on parking permits, I could use the same amount of money to buy books for my classes—something that actually relates to my education.

If I park at a two-hour zone, my eyes would be fixed on the clock rather than on the material being taught.

I usually leave my classes early to move my car before a ticket shows up on my windshield.

Sometimes I am even late for my classes since finding parking after 9:00 am is almost impossible. To avoid parking at the two-hour zones, I have taken public transportation, and I have parked several blocks away from USF that provide all-day parking. However, I find these alternatives inconvenient. The buses are always crowded in the morning, and it is difficult walking to school with all my books.

The fact that it is hard to find parking also discourages me from participating in school activities since most of them take place around night.

If I stay at school for too long, I would either have to take the bus or walk a long distance to my car at night.

I find both situations unpleasant because I would not feel safe wandering the streets alone during late hours.

If USF provided convenient parking for its students, I would be able to concentrate more in my classes and be involved with my school.

USF does not encourage people to drive to school because parking is limited. According to USF, there are about 700 parking spaces available on campus, and a majority of these spots are used by faculty and staff members. USF encourages its students to use public transportation, but as I have mentioned, using public transportation can be problematic.

Clearly there is not enough parking for everyone who needs it, but USF should not favor those who have the money to pay the high fees or its faculty and staff members. After all, the students are the ones paying to attend classes at USF.

With the current condition of the economy, more college students are falling into debt. The high cost of USF’s parking permits and its limited parking spaces create problems for commuter students.

Therefore, the fees should be lowered and parking passes should be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis so that the distribution of parking would be fair.

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