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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.


Comments

1chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

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

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2Guin96(40 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I have to agree with Bertram. This is one of the stupidest things I've seen at YSU. The administration has been singing the song of "we have no money" for how long now. We heard it during the last contract talks with faculty and staff. But they keep hiring more administrators. Recently hired one at 6 figures to head up the computer area. This job was not needed. It had been vacant for some time and things were being well run. Now they plan to hire another one to fill a vice president job. Rumor mill has it that it was created with someone in mind. Another unnecessary position that has been vacant for quite a while. In the meantime, staff jobs that are needed go unfilled and students are expected to pick up the bill by paying for a "transportation" fee even if they don't drive on campus. Disgusting.

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3Philo(99 comments)posted 2 years, 3 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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4CompMan(125 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

YSU has always had parking issues around its asphalt campus. I remember in the sixties parking so bad you actually left your keys in the car in unsactioned YSU lots (as YSU's were always filled by 7:30 AM) so other students could move your car to leave or enter lots as most of us had full time jobs. Since most of the 94,000 alumni live in this area the alumni may need to refrain from donations to the alumni association to support sons/daughters or grandchildren currently going to YSU to pay for this extortion. When they call - around dinner time - tell them why you are not donating.

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5gdog4766(1402 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Anderson is such a false prophet. She constantly holds herself up as pro-student and pro-labor. But at every turn she has done nothing but harm. The sooner gone the better

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6Westsider(222 comments)posted 2 years, 3 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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7gdog4766(1402 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Ya know, I just thought of something. Why doesnt YSU take the TWO MILLION DOLLARS they are spending on the Wick Pollock Inn and put that in their general fund. I mean that is a lot of money to fix up an old building for the dean to live in. Why doesnt the Dean give something for the good of the University. She has a home now, why are tax dollars being used to provide her with something she already has?

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8jeepers(127 comments)posted 2 years, 3 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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9grand4dad(194 comments)posted 2 years, 3 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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10zz3(921 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like this YSU administration would do well in positions with our Government!!! The biggest employer ever with golden parachutes galore. Just ask the CIA or GSA. Our local YSU officials are no different with the "take it while we can attitude" with bonuses given for non-performance. Hows the student numbers working for you. It won't be long when I see the day for YSU that you will be able to park where ever you want because there will be nobody there!! Why go to YSU when as stated above there are cheaper and SAFER places to go close to home. Lets face it YSU sits in the middle of Vietnam with our local gov't looking at building stadiums, playgrounds, etc in an effort to curb crime in the area. Go figure! So as local YSU officials have no clue they are not alone. To leave us wonder wheres the common sense gone? Imagine if you ran your household budget like these morons WOW

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11Thomas1(14 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months 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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