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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

    Don’t pay to park!

    fred-carley.jpgWe are all paying too much to park in a prairie.

    Here in the prairies, at the foot of Baculite Mesa, lies the campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo. CSU-Pueblo has over 20 areas on location for people to park.

    There is a stipulation though, the pass. Even if you are a registered student, a pass must be purchased from the school for permission to park in these areas. If not in compliance, a ticket with a $50 fine will be placed on the windshield of your car or $20 for improper pass. In the fall of 2008 a hanging pass was $75 and a sticker was $50. Now, passes are half price and only valid for the current semester.

    With a census count in the fall of 2008 of 4,610 students, the college made a huge chunk of change considering the amount of students that do drive.

    It is unfair for the students to have to pay for parking and ridiculous that these are permit-required lots. I would understand the reasoning for the charge, if the campus were in the middle of the city, such as Colorado University-Denver or an Arizona State University where parking is very limited due to space.

    We are in the middle of a prairie. Are citizens of Pueblo going to park their car here and walk to work downtown? Is there not sufficient parking for the campus to have visitors?

    Parking should be involved in student fees. I am not saying for the school to raise tuition the extra money to compensate for loss of the parking fee, because that would be unfair to those who don’t drive.

    I am saying to get rid of it. Get rid of all of it, the pass, the parking patrol, the signs, and all the other stuff needed for the system. Have one or two students get a small stipend to patrol a staff parking lot. Start a small campus security, ran by Sociology majors for students who are studying criminology.

    Last, visitor parking is dumb. We should want other people to come here park, hang out, and make use of the facilities. Even build more facilities to attract non-traditional students; like a skate-park, a bike-track, an ice rink, etc.

    Maybe the school could try to brand itself a little more to those that aren’t planning on going to college. Attract all demographics to the campus, promote college life, get the community involved, and possibly throw events for non-students. This would definitely help other statistics that are being targeted, like enrollment, and could bring in additional funds for the use of facilities and branding of the school.

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    • A

      AndrewJan 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm

      Ok first off all to reply to Steven Titus’s reply, almost all colleges make parking a fee in Colorado. If you would like the right info please go to the Parking/Sheriff’s office and look at the print out that they have. UCCS is not in downtown Denver but it’s in Colorado Springs and they charge for parking as well. For LIMITED access for commuters for spring ONLY, it’s a $165 and that doesn’t guarantee a spot in there parking lots. Second, parking is not a hidden charge. When you enroll/ go to orientation you are given a package of sorts and in there is all the info you need on parking and how much it costs. Also by calling 549-2100 anytime the operator would transfer you to someone that would know that information for you. Thirdly, you don’t need an open record act to find this info out. All you have to do is call the parking office and they will be able to give the information out. Finally the parking committee is very generous to the students that show up to the appeals. Many students have been given leniency over the last four years that I have been a student at this University.
      Now regarding the story. You are correct with around 4,500 students going to school here. If the campus can accommodate around 10,000 people for the fourth of July or the thousands that came for McCain’s speech on a school day with not only the students but the entire community parking on this campus don’t you think there is enough parking for just a regular day? Well the answer is yes we do have enough parking and that doesn’t mean you have to park down by the football stadium either. Yes you might have to walk an extra minute or so but I know for a fact you can go from any parking spot on the main campus to any building on campus within 5 to 6 minutes and that’s taking your time. I do think that sooner or later they are going to have to build a parking garage on the campus. But until then there will be plenty of parking at a reasonable distance. The people that have been complaining are the ones that show up 2 minutes before class starts and want to park right next to the building. Also the half price permits are good though the rest of the academic year which would end on 8-31-2009 not just the current semester. That is another fallacy in the story. These permits are a lot cheaper than any other University (not including community or junior colleges) in Colorado. The paper work is hanging up at the parking office.
      Also, the writer stats that, “the school should start a security by students from the school.” Really what are you thinking? The parking students are security at night just a little known fact. Besides that there is real crime that happens here and I think 99% of all students like having the Sheriff’s office here because they fill safe. They had a security office with no law enforcement in the past and you know what happened, one of them got stabbed in the neck by a student. Look up the facts before you post something like that. Another thing is that the majority that works for the parking department are soc/crim majors.
      Also look at any other campus in the United States and give them a call and see if they would be willing to just take down all there signs or not put any up. They would either hang up on you or just laugh. Another thing that you make reference to that makes no sense is the visitor parking. All community members or anyone wanting to come up and use any one of the resources on this campus can. They do every day and all they have to do is get a visitor pass from either the visitor center or the parking department. The only stipulation would be the REC CENTER because you have to buy a membership if you’re not a student but a parking pass is included in that fee. They can park in the regular lots with a visitor pass if for say they need to go to another building also.
      I do agree that they should make a skate park on this campus. And they were looking into that the last time I checked. The only issue would be liability. I think it would get used a lot by outside community along with students from CSU-Pueblo.
      Finally, I am disappointed that this opinion piece was written for the sole purpose of just trying to project the parking on campus/parking department in a bad light. There are many fallacies in the paper which have been justified in this response and I am really surprised that this article got published/ posted the way it is. To me it seems there was very little research done at all. On a side note the kids that work for the Parking department are just doing a job like any other job on campus. This is the real world and everyone needs to act like the adults they legally are.

    • S

      Steve TitusJan 23, 2009 at 9:33 am

      I find your article interesting and something I have advocated for all three years I have been in Student Government and also have advocated statewide with other Student Government Leaders. I don’t like the parking set-up at CSU-Pueblo. I have had my fair share of run-ins with orange tickets but its mainly I disagree with ticketing because of the lack of signage.

      -First off, I hate to say it but the parking permit system is essential to the current structure of CSU-P in regards to tuition and fees. I did a report 3 years ago that parking is collecting about $150,000 plus per year off of permits and fines. If you want to find out the current amount they have collected by all means you have every right in the world. File a Colorado Open Records Act Request. They have to tell you.
      –These revenue might be up but this year is quite a bit different. The city transit system (which is questionable in its own right) was a $100,000 program with part of the money coming from the parking operation. Also, we have seen more students carpool, to avoid paying for the pass as well as using other means to get to the campus.
      Second, we cannot include parking as a Mandatory Student Fee. It is safe to say that the Administration and the Board of Governors are against this.
      – There are different types of fees and parking is a type of optional fee/ charge for service. A parking fee goes against the ideas of helping statistics and helping enrollment because most students that look to go to college look at the price of Mandatory Student Fees + Tuition and don’t really look at the price of parking by all means its a hidden fee. We have one of the cheapest parking fees in the state and no other University in Colorado makes parking a fee. Most students that go to UCD (University of Colorado, Denver) or any of the Auroria Campus schools use RTD because they dont want to pay $7+ a day to park downtown.
      – I have had the opportunity to Chair the Parking Appeals Committee this past year and am still currently a member of the committee and honestly can say that the committee has done a superior job this past year in all concerns that students raise. They are a very legitimate group who very rarely do not side with the students. I just did a walk through with the Director of Parking Management and the Director of Auxiliary Services to attempt to fix the problems in the lots and hopefully sooner then later things will get better.
      – On your final point about having events open to everyone. Believe it or not most events on campus are open to the public because people who hold events RARELY check for I.D. cards. We just built a $10M student rec center for the purpose of recruiting non-students and having it as a community outlet.
      If you have any other questions please let me know.
      Steve Titus, Chair, Student Fee Governing Board.