Parking Fee Proposed for Next School Year

Jules Struck ’19, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Dickinson is considering a $50 parking fee for students, faculty and staff to be implemented in spring 2019 at the earliest. 

The parking fee proposal is being drafted by a parking committee comprised of five students and staff who will present the proposal to Dickinson’s Planning & Budget Committee probably “by the end of the semester,” said Ken Shultes, associate vice president of Sustainability & Planning and member of the parking committee. 

The plan was presented at a Nov. 30 student senate meeting by Senior Class President Colby Lutz, who is also on the parking committee. He said the estimated revenue from a $50 parking fee would be around $79,500 annually. “It’s part of a plan… to carry into the college’s operational budget,” said Lutz, “It’s going into offsetting that deficit.” Lutz was confident the fee proposal will be implemented next year. 

Shultes said in addition to the parking fee, the committee hopes the proposal will compel all car owners to register their vehicles with the Department of Public Safety, which is helpful for emergency situations and data collection, he said. 

Shultes said the committee has considered the possibility of car owners parking on public streets to avoid the fee. Student vehicle spillover onto the town’s public streets would could cause tensions with the borough, said Shultes and Lutz. Though there is no regulation prohibiting this, Shultes said, the committee thinks students will choose to pay for the convenience, and because “the fee we’ve been talking about is pretty small.” 

The committee is considering while laying out their proposal that some students and staff are only on campus for half of the year, said Shultes.

He hopes the proposed plan would encourage students and faculty to carpool to campus. He said additionally, Dickinson is in “a very small minority of colleges that does not require a parking fee for students.” 

Student response to the proposal has been tepid. “That sucks,” said Paul Wakefield ’20. “It’s unfortunate that they are deciding to change something that they have done for so long and is a real help to students.” 

“It’s appalling to make more money off of the students who already pay thousands of dollars every semester to live here,” said Maia Baker ’19 in a written message. “If the rule had already existed it could be excusable, [but] as a money grab it’s not only unfair (stratifying mobility along wealth lines) but immoral,” she said.

“And you shouldn’t have to have $50 lying around in order to keep a car on campus in an area with NO transportation,” added Baker.

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