September 4, 2018
“I actually like the fact that we have parking decals, and that people can only park in a particular area. I don’t like the fact that a parking space in your assigned area is not guaranteed,” said Kristian Brent, a commuter and Sports Media student at Mississippi College. She continued, “If we are going to pay almost $200 for a decal, then I think we should have a guaranteed parking spot.”
Mississippi College’s tuition alone is a little more than $8,000 per semester. Along with that cost, the registration fee is $405. Other expenses include fees relating to technology, health services, and extracurricular activities. These fees are expected to be paid by each student. In addition, each student at Mississippi College who has a car and parks anywhere on campus must have a parking decal.
With over 5,000 students, each person competes for a parking spot daily. Some students carpool to places off-campus because of the difficulty of finding a spot when they return.
The parking spots are in various areas on campus, and they are labeled based on the students’ residency classification.
To avoid paying almost $200 for a parking decal, some students park as far as Kroger and walk to campus. A few students even ride their bicycles to school.
Some commuters said that sometimes they have to drive around for lengthy periods of time searching for a parking space, which makes them late for class.
Many students dread paying this fee every year because of how expensive it is. So, why do the decals cost so much? Is the price expected to increase every year? What is the money from the decals used for?
Vice President Steve Stanford of Administration and Government Relations said, “The fees are approved by the board of trustees.” He continued, “The money goes to public safety, repairs on the parking lot, security coverage, security cameras, and so much more.” Parking decals, along with a few other fees, are not included in Mississippi College students’ tuition. Stanford said that the cost of Mississippi College’s decals is compared with the cost of other colleges and universities. “We do know we are not the cheapest,” he said, “but we are not the most expensive.” Stanford said that as Mississippi College continues to grow and expand, the cost of decals will increase incrementally.
Although the cost of decals will continue to increase, some students suggest ways to potentially decrease the future cost of parking decals.
“I feel like if they bring down the cost of decals and raise the ticket fines, the increased price of those tickets would make up the difference,” said a Mississippi College student who chose to remain anonymous. The student continued, “The consequence of not having a decal should be greater than the price of the decal itself.”
Some students said that it would feel like less of a burden if the price of decals were split between the fall and spring semesters.
So, will those suggestions be considered or will the prices continue to incrementally increase?
Volume 100, Issue 1