An Open Letter To All North American Universities:
I have been unable to sleep tonight because you’re on my mind. No, not because of the numerous assignments, onerous tests nor lengthy papers I must complete but rather the fact that I’ve been issued a ticket for parking my car for less than 10 minutes in the school lot as I bolted inside to hand in paperwork to the administration office.
Upon receiving the ticket I felt anger – anger that I would be unfairly given a ticket because I refused to pay the $3.25/hour fee for the nine minutes I needed.
Then, I felt impressed by how quickly the parking attendants must have been checking the lots.
Finally, my emotions ended on a feeling of cheat and mistrust. I always thought the university was an establishment created to support my educational career, but this ticket helped me realize it wasn’t me that the university really cared about but rather my money.
Now, you may ask why I have made such a small issue into an overdramatized judgement.
I am upset that I can only enrol myself in part-time classes in order to maintain a job.
Like many, as a student with no financial support from her parents, I must work to make ends meet. I work to pay for my food, my insurance, my rent, my living expenses and my tuition which costs me 3.2 per cent more this year than previous years.
Why I’m upset is because a trip to my University costs me $6.30 in bridge tolls ($3.15 each way), $10-$15 in gas (my university happens to be on top of a mountain, yipee!) and finally, I pay $3.25 per hour to park my car, or if I were a full time student, I’d invest in a parking permit which would cost anywhere from $69.88 – $122.51 per month.
Don’t even get me started on the bus system. Each visit to my University costs me anywhere from $26.05–$34.30. Is this a fair price to pay to attend my lectures? Let me put this into perspective, that’s roughly $1,502 per semester to attend classes only three days a week.
I attend school part-time so I can work part-time to pay for these transportation fees.
I am upset because the very same institution that is supposed to be supporting my education, is very much willing to slap a big ticket on my car for parking nine minutes in an empty school parking lot. This is not right.
There are thousands of students just like me who could easily quit school and work full time, but as students, we put in the effort to work hard and finish our education so we can take on valuable roles in society and support our country’s growth, so please, Universities of North America, reconsider your parking fees in support of the students who need it most.