Scheduling delays should cause commuter parking refunds

As a commuter, my parking permit costs a cool $250, which obviously isn’t cheap. I think that VU’s prices for parking permits are a little on the pricier side but that’s based on my personal experience of attending a different university my freshman year. I’m sure there are valid reasons as to why the parking permits cost as much as they do, but it’s still no small burden for us to pay.

A big change that came about this year was that parking permit fees would automatically be put onto a student’s account rather than paid by a credit card or cash. To many students, including myself, this seemed like a great idea so many of us jumped at this opportunity. 

 Don’t get me wrong; this permit allows me to park in numerous parking lots spread across campus which is super convenient for me. It’s especially favorable when there’s bad weather and I get to park close to the buildings so I can just run in. 

I had purchased this permit with those benefits in mind. However, it comes as no surprise that this year is a little different than past years. Before the parking permits were available to purchase, there had been no communication on whether or not classes were going to be online or in person. It wasn’t until after the deadline of applying for a permit that I found out about the hybrid and online formats that many of my classes were going to be set up as. 

Of course, this frustrated me because I had just paid a lot of money to be able to use it for in person classes. I have a friend who purchased a commuter pass that had all of their classes go online -- not a single in person class for them to drive to campus for. Understandably, they’re upset about wasting a substantial amount of money that won’t be used unless they choose to drive to campus to use the library occasionally.

Neither my friend or I appreciate how the school didn’t inform us about the change in class format before we had to choose to buy the parking permits. I understand they might not have known for sure at that point, but they had to have had some inclination that some classes were going to be remote. 

I’ve had this conversation with numerous people and we all agree that it’d be appreciated if we got some form of refund on the permits we’ve purchased, perhaps based on how many in person classes we actually have. It doesn’t seem fair that we paid full price for a permit that most of us can’t use to its full potential, and some not at all. 

I hope VU sees where we’re coming from and makes changes accordingly. Even if they were to communicate to us that they understand why we’re upset would be favorable. As of right now it seems like we are just left out in the dust because they’re oblivious that many of us are upset about this issue at all. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. 

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