ANGLES: Parking Predicament: Should Augustana students be required to pay for parking?


Currently, any person with a vehicle who wishes to park in one of Augustana’s campus lots must register their vehicle with Campus Safety and purchase a parking permit.

Residence hall and commuter permits are $185. Elmen Center and East Hall permits can be purchased for $140.

Permits are “distributed on a seniority and first-come, first-serve basis for all students,” according to the university’s website.

Augustana acknowledges that not all students who apply for parking permits will receive one, due to the high number of on-campus students compared to the number of parking spots available. The university also states that while “parking permits are required, they do not guarantee a place to park.” However, Augustana does provide the Elmen for overflow parking.

Fines for parking violations on campus cost between $15 and $50 and are billed directly to the students. A full list of violations and corresponding fines can be found on Augustana’s website under “Parking Enforcement.”

Yes, it ensures parking for all



Augustana University students who live on campus should continue to pay for permits because it guarantees parking spots for those students, raises funds for parking lots and keeps students from parking on the streets in front of off-campus housing.

Augustana does not have enough spots for all 2,100 of its students to park on campus. By paying for a permit, students can ensure they will have an on-campus parking spot at all times. Although Campus Safety does not guarantee students will have access to a parking spot in front of their specific residence hall, students are guaranteed a spot on campus. Without permits, students, faculty, administration and campus visitors would have to fight for parking spots. This could lead to students and faculty being late to class or students being forced to park on the side streets surrounding campus.

Parking permits may be an added expense for students, but the funds accumulated by permits and fines are used for the maintenance of parking facilities, according to the parking and traffic regulations page on Augie’s website. Considering the current condition of the residence hall parking lots (especially the one between Granskou and East Halls), Augustana needs the money from the permits to help with parking lot upkeep. The money could be used to fix the potholes on 28th Street and Summit Avenue as well.

Paying for a permit also helps students who live off campus. Many of the rental homes in Augustana’s neighborhood have small garages, forcing residents to park on the street. Some of those streets (Menlo, Prairie and Walts avenues) only allow cars to park on one side for two hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. This forces off-campus students to find a parking spot on one side of the street or risk paying a city fee.

When students who live in the dorms don’t pay for a parking permit, they look for parking on the city streets. When they park on the city streets, they compete with students living off-campus for parking, sometimes forcing off-campus students to get tickets because they had to park on the side of the street limited to two hours. Students who live off-campus shouldn’t have to pay city fees because students who live on-campus don’t want to buy a parking permit.

Parking in front of houses occupied by off-campus students can also lead to tension between the residents and on-campus students. Sometimes off-campus students express their frustration by leaving angry notes on windshields or saran-wrapping cars in front of their houses.

If a car sits in front of a house for more than 24 hours, the residents can also call the city parking department and report the car as abandoned, subjecting it to be ticketed or towed. To avoid conflict, students should pay for a permit or, if they weren’t able to get one, be conscious of where they park and how long they leave their car there.

Although parking permits add to the expenses of going to college, the money is worth it, considering that it ensures students a parking spot, pays for parking lot repairs and prevents conflict between students living on and off-campus.

Anna Sorenson is a junior English and journalism major from Brandon, South Dakota. 


No, parking shouldn’t be a luxury



I think that paying for parking at any college is ridiculous.

Let me offer some context: I do not pay for parking because I am a VA on campus and we get it for free. As I live in Bergsaker, I still think that the parking for us is suboptimal.

I am indeed grateful to not have to pay to park my car in an open parking lot that’s about a 60-second walk from the building, but if I had to pay for that, I would be nothing short of insulted.

Think about this in terms of buying a house or apartment: When you’re buying one, you either have parking included (in a garage or driveway) or it is an additional cost for indoor parking.

If you opt-out of said indoor parking, then you get to park on the side of the street, where your car is exposed to the elements.

With this thought in mind, it seems irrational to make students pay for outside parking.

Additionally, the cost of a parking pass is not a small one. If a student is financially well-off, then perhaps this payment is a nuisance, but if there is a student who is economically fragile, then this can be a huge deal.

If I were to boil down the point of buying a parking pass, it would not come down to safety for me.

I am still just as worried about someone breaking into my car in the parking lot as I am on the street, so I lock my car just the same.

I am also mindful of how my car can be coated in ice during the winter seasons because it is parked outside.

Having a parking pass for me means that I can easily come and go, and I don’t think that’s something that should be exclusive to those who can afford it. It is not a luxury to have transport available to students; it is a necessity.

Students know if they have to be in and out often or if they practically never leave campus, and they park accordingly.

Think about the beginning and end of the year when students are allowed to park wherever they please. There is something beautiful and liberating about the idea of nobody having an advantage—any professor, any student, any parent or non-student is allowed to park where they please. The lack of restriction is truly uplifting.

There is occasionally light complaining, but people are rarely consistently inconvenienced, at least not as often as people who have to park on the streets or in the Elmen lot.

We do indeed have more students than parking places, but this should be accounted for by Augustana.

As far as I see it, paying for parking just adds more hours onto Campus Safety’s to-do list, since they have to do rounds and write people up for parking where they “shouldn’t” be.

Paying for parking also gives colleges more money to do whatever it is colleges do with spare money.

I am not in a position to offer solutions to parking problems, and if I were offered a specific direction that the students’ money for parking is headed, I might shift my belief that students should pay for parking.

As of now, though, I believe that being in college is complicated and stressful enough without adding more things for students to pay for, just for peace of mind.

Gage Hoffman is a junior English and secondary education major from Brandon, South Dakota. 

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