On Our Minds: Cost of campus parking should be more affordable

A view of the Oregon State University parking garage on Jan. 10. It is open to the public during the week with the first few levels being pay to park and top levels open to those with a resident parking permit.

Riley LeCocq, Columnist

Editor’s Note: This column does not represent the opinion of The Daily Barometer. This column reflects the personal opinions of the writer.

In Oregon’s wet and cold climate, parking on the Oregon State University campus is a necessity that must be made affordable to give all students an equitable chance at success.

As winter term continues, the Oregon climate has quickly shifted to 30-degree mornings, temperamental rain showers and chilling wind gusts that usually seem to happen when students are getting to and from class.

For a large majority of students who live off-campus and commute to class, work and extracurricular meetings, the way we get to campus only becomes more complicated as the weather gets worse. A lack of convenient spaces in parking lots also does not help this issue.

However, the primary issue for myself especially is the cost of parking on campus. OSU annual parking passes for students and faculty cost at least $180, with monthly options starting around $52 and daily passes ringing in at a more reasonable price of $4 to $6.

“In this weather, walking to and from classes can be really hard,” said Georgina Paez, a second-year creative writing major at Oregon State University.

Paez, who bought an annual B lot parking pass on OSU’s campus, is one of many who agree that the weather is a huge issue when it comes to getting to campus this time of year and that despite the price of parking passes, driving is a necessity.

“I don’t think it is valid for [the parking pass] to be over $100 at all,” Paez said. “Especially because a lot of students are paying a lot in tuition, out of state specifically.”

Maybe with a lower price per month, other students and I would be more inclined to purchase a permit, but for now we suffer the consequences of dodging rainstorms and parking tickets just to get to class.

“I think it is definitely an issue that should be focused on more because it is important to me specifically and I cannot imagine how it is for all the other students,” Paez said.

As if the price of tuition and cost of attendance for a university was not already enough of a stressor for students, adding on more and more expenses simply contributes to the problem.

Students who do not pay for parking passes despite commuting to campus, such as second-year kinesiology student Dmitriy Zhukovski, still struggle with this issue.

“It is way too expensive so I find street parking wherever I can,” said Zhukovski. “It is very hard to find parking especially in reasonable areas, for example, getting to work.”

Zhukovski works at Dixon Recreation Center, where frustrations with lack of parking for even those with permits are apparent.

The geography of the Corvallis campus lacks convenient parking locations that can hold more than just a few cars in the areas where students need it most.

One solution to the problem proposed by Paez was to build another, more convenient parking structure on campus. Paez also said OSU could build up and utilize more of the Beaver Bus system to provide students with options to commute safely out of the elements.

“Honestly it’s been a struggle,” Zhukovski said. “For work, I have to dress up in slacks and a dress shirt and that’s not easy to bike or walk to work in.”