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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Taken for a Ride

It appears those of us who drive to school are getting it up the *ahem* rear even worse than we thought.

There are, of course, the age-old complaints about the parking garage, namely; it’s always full, it’s in terrible condition, it’s confusing, the fees are too high, it lends itself to car accidents and hit-and-runs, it makes most sensible people fear for their lives and the lower level reeks of garbage.

Recently a state auditor added to the list, revealing that $200,000 of those inflated fees had been misappropriated, not used to in any way improve the garage’s deplorable condition, but instead to pay for lovely landscaping to impress visitors to the campus. (Personally, I think any positive feelings said visitor might possibly have for the school would immediately evaporate upon entering the garage to park, but I’m just a student here, so who am I to have an opinion.)

But as if all this wasn’t enough, in a letter to the campus community dated September 22, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance David Mackenzie, (whose department, by the way, is responsible for the misappropriation of our hard-earned cash) let it slip that the “free” shuttle to and from JFK and remote parking is financed by the Parking and Transportation Trust Fund, made up entirely of, you guessed it, parking fees.

Well, maybe MacKenzie doesn’t see a problem here, because he says “to operate our bus services…[we] fund them through user (parking) fees.” “User” fees? The only time I use the shuttle is when I’m stuck in remote parking because the garage is full AGAIN. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that the people paying for the shuttle are the only ones NOT using it.

But I could be mistaken, MacKenzie could be right after all. I think they are user fees, or if they aren’t, they soon will be. I know for me spending $300 on a parking pass means I can’t fix the rattling rust box I call a car, so it could be that in the very near future I will indeed be using that “free” shuttle. That is, if I can scrounge up the money for a T pass.

Colleen BarryUndecided ’06