Reitzel: Buy a Parking Pass, pay Another $400 to Park

The Mick Drive parking garage lists rates for parking based on the amount of time a car will be parked within the garage. - Contributor / Morgan Reitzel

Since the school year started, I have been living off-campus and have had to park in the Nexus Mick parking lot in order to attend my classes. Additionally, since some of my classes happen to be in Savitz Hall, I had to buy a Rowan parking pass which costs $140 for the full year. After coughing up $140 out of my savings, I thought I would never get a parking ticket on Rowan’s campus—I was wrong. 

Considering the fact that Rowan University refuses to build a parking lot near the building where I take most of my classes, 301 High Street, I have been coerced into parking in the parking garage or walking approximately 20 to 25 minutes from the nearest Rowan parking lot. The bottom level of the garage allows free parking for one hour and all other levels allow free parking for two hours. Anything over two hours requires people to pay anywhere from $3 to $7 depending on the time.

Kai Rosen, a parking assistant at the Mick Parking Garage, believes that Mick and Rowan Boulevard parking garages should “extend the parking to two hours instead of one, or have a commuter pass.” But, in my opinion, that’s still not enough. 

After a tiring day of attending three classes for about 4 hours straight, I have received a parking ticket for $8 dollars after parking on the bottom floor. I understand that the cost of this ticket is low, but why should I have to pay money to park when I already have a parking pass for Rowan University? 

Some people have argued that I can just park on the top floor for my classes, but I still have to pay for parking there. If I parked on the upper floors, it would be about $5 per day, two days a week. This is about $40 a month and $400 a school year—after I have already paid $140 for a Rowan Parking pass. Why am I expected to pay roughly $540 to attend classes?

According to the Rowan University website, the average cost for someone who lives in-state and commutes to Rowan is $31,686. For someone who lives in-state and on campus, the average cost is $36,828. And this doesn’t factor in all of the out-of-state residents and commuters. School is already so much money, so why is Rowan University giving its student body more obstacles to attend classes?

I think it is ridiculous that the Rowan parking pass does not cover for students to park in the parking garages because Rowan advertises Rowan Boulevard to be such a critical part of the university. On this one street, there are no parking lots that take Rowan University parking passes. Meanwhile, 260 Victoria Street, 301 High Street and the Enterprise Building all have several classes in them every day. 

Rowan University needs to make parking available for students who have classes in those buildings or make parking more accessible for the whole of the student body. Rowan wants to promote a healthy learning environment, but there is no way for students to learn if they can’t even park to get to their classes.

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