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Parking wars loom at YSU

Published: Sun, April 22, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

In the annals of dumb decisions made on the hallowed grounds of Youngstown State University, the one that granted bonuses to 400 employees for student enrollment increases will forever take the cake. Why? For the simple reason that the members of the Association of Classified Employees had nothing — nada, zilch — to do with enrollment. They pocketed the sizable bonuses and laughed all the way to their favorite vacation destinations.

But last week, another potential decision was discussed on campus that is triggering a full-throated guffaw from the peanut gallery.

It has to do with parking, and the administration’s belief that all students taking more than six credit hours should pay the $100 a semester to park on campus. It doesn’t matter if you get to YSU by bus, by bicycle, by skateboard, by wheelchair or on foot, you would still have to pay. Currently, only those students who want parking passes are required to shell out the $200 an academic year. YSU President Cynthia Anderson, who held a question-and-answer session with students and faculty, attempted to spin the idea by tugging at students’ heartstrings.

Police protection

“We cannot keep you safe if you’re parking across Belmont Avenue,” said the president. With a parking pass, you could park in university-sponsored lots, which are better protected by campus police, Anderson contended.

But given that YSU has 6,755 parking spaces, how will the influx of new permit holders be accommodated? Welcome to Parking Wars at YSU.

Members of the board of trustees will be taking up this issue in the not too distant future, and when they do they should answer this question: If you’re going to force all full-time and most part-time students to pay for parking, what about the more than 1,000 employees who park for free? Indeed, there are assigned lots for them.

Youngstown State University provides $531,000 worth of free parking — that’s, five hundred and thirty-one thousand dollars. Of this amount, the faculty gobbles up $212,000.

By contrast, students who park on campus today pay $100 a semester and $51 for a summer school pass.

By what Nobel Laureate thinking does it make sense to gouge the students even more than they’re already being gouged — wait until you see the fees they have to pay — and give the administrators, faculty, professional staff and other employees a free pass?

If, as President Anderson says, the money is needed to help pay for a $25 million new parking deck and other parking functions, why isn’t every member of the university community being asked to participate financially?

There is a link on YSU’s website called “Student Fees and Charges Effective Fall 2011” that details what it costs to attend the open admissions, urban institution. It’s a shock to the senses. Little wonder that some students have to work three jobs to keep their heads above water.

The list lends itself to sarcasm. For example, there’s something called “Information Services Fees” that is as follows: 1-11 credits, $9.54 per credit; 12-16 credits, $114.48 per semester; over 16 credits, $9.54 per credit.

Each college also soaks the students. As an example: the College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (juniors and above), the fee is $17 per credit for 1-11 credits; $204 per semester for 12-16 credits; $17 per credit over 16 credits.

Want to be inoculated for Hepatitis? There’s a fee for that —$125. For meningitis, it’s $75.

If you’re a music major and must perform as part of your course work, there’s a Performance Music Fee of $75 per credit.

Police academy

Want to be a cop? You must pay $300 a semester for the Peace Officer Training Academy.

Getting your doctorate degree in physical therapy? There’s a $500 deposit for being accepted into the program.

If you’re one of the students who happens to be pursuing a degree that requires a thesis, it will cost you $25 to have it bound.

And then it’s time to graduate. Be prepared to shell out $65 for the Graduation Fee.

But there’s good news. YSU doesn’t charge students for using the drinking- water fountains, breathing the air, or talking on cell phones (noise pollution, you see.)

Sarcasm aside, the university should park the idea of most students paying.


1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Wait until the student loan bubble bursts. Another massive bailout coming.

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2Philo(99 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

There are numerous other good alternatives for higher education in the valley; KSU and EGCC being two of them. About 2/3 of these YSU students should consider taking a semester off. That might get the attention of the administrators.....then again, maybe not.

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3Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I am so disappointed in the performance of Dr. Anderson thus far. Nothing has changed, in fact, it has become increasingly evident that her friends on campus are receiving preferential treatment and are running the institution into the ground financially. That said, it is important to note that true organizational change takes at least five years. Whether YSU has that kind of time to turn things around remains to be seen.

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4Spiderlegs(161 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Not a big fan of Bertram, but I actually agree with him on this one: Making students who don't park on campus pay for parking is a really, really stupid idea. I don't mind thinking out of the box, but Anderson's spin in support of this does indeed raise some real questions about her leadership ethics.

The diatribe about other fees, however, is consistent with the kind of ignorant discourse that continually discredits Bertram's editorials. OK to be critical, but you have to know what you're writing about.

People need to compare the cost of attending YSU with other institutions in Ohio before they start complaining. YSU does not get enough credit for keeping costs down.

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5jeepers(127 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Let's see-charge the customers to park but not the employees.Or rather-sell the students hunting licenses-buy the permit and THEN begin to hunt for a space. Preferably a space near one of your classes but don't count on it.I gtaduated so long ago[1976] we hitched our ponies outside TONY'S. I recall many mornings getting panicked searching for a space before class. Judging by the cost to attend Wick High School these days, isn't valet parking included?

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6grand4dad(217 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

This doesn't seem like a very good answer to the school's financial problems. Why is everything always put on the students? I agree with the other posters here. This is a very bad idea.

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7Thomas1(14 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

So let me get this straight. Even if a student does not park on campus, she/she has to pay for the parking fee??

What's the big deal? Isn't this just another example of a "shared sacrifice" the liberals have been advocating?? I don't use WIC, welfare, food stamps, secion 8 housing, etc.. but yet, MY money goes to fund them.

It is amazing when liberals want to spend our money, it is "fair" and "shared" but when someone wants to spend their money, the tune quickly changes.

Bertram just showed us another example of how he is nothing but a hypocrite.

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