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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Parking Fine

The spector of a parking fee increase haunts the motorists of the UMass Boston campus, and, like the Ghost of Christmas Future, causes them fitful nights as they dread the coming holidays. Yes, by the new year the fee charged for parking on this campus may increase significantly, doubling to $7.

The editors of The Mass Media, as a general rule, are opposed to fee increases. In an ideal world the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would provide adequate maintainance of the infrastructures of the UMass system, or, failing that, they would provide the funding for the repairs required as a result of years of neglect.

But the Commonwealth has trimmed budgets and what little money that has been wheedled from the government is, along with funds from future students, building a new campus center which will be used by all students. Those funds that are coming from those future students can be classified as a user’s fee-those students who will be using the campus center will be paying for it.

About 50 percent of the students at this campus presently use public transportation. If the parking garages are not repaired and the garages were shut down, this segment of the student population would be unaffected, whereas the motorists of this campus would be greatly inconvenienced.

We feel that a user’s fee is the most equitable solution.

Rather than imposing a fee on all students to pay for the repairs to the garage (one solution that was contemplated) the administration proposes increasing the fee for motorists to park on campus. We see this as a wise choice. While we don’t imagine any students, or employees, are wealthy beyond the point of caring about fees, the students who can’t afford cars, or insurance or fuel and maintainence for internal combustion vehicles most certainly should not shoulder a large cost in repairing the storage space for said vehicles.

The users of the parking facilities, if they wish to have those facilities available to them in the future, should be the ones to pay for the repairs. While we do not wholeheartedly support increasing the parking fee, we wholeheartedly oppose charging a parking fee to those who have nothing to park. Increasing the user’s fee, the fee charged to those who actually use the parking facilities, is more just than charging all students a fee to repair the parking garages.

Those students who have no motor vehicles would righteously be indignant if a fee were imposed on them to repair the motor vehicle parking facilities. Although motorists are upset that the parking fee may increase, those motorists might possibly be more upset if the parking facilities on campus were closed entirely.