Students have to park in the South garage, shown here Nov. 21, 2021 and often walk a great distance to get to their classes.
Credit: Jo Murray

Opinion: CSU should overhaul its student parking policies.

Why am I paying so much for student parking to be told where I can park, when I can park and how I can park?

Enough is enough! 

There has to be a way for students like myself to park on or near campus without paying for an overly costly parking permit.

At CSU the tuition per semester is about $5,000 and up, money a student has to pay out of pocket if for whatever reason they can’t get a grant or loan. Paying for tuition, housing and parking is not OK. If parking permits were a set and reasonable price, I think that would be fair. There should not be different prices for different permits, they all should be the same price. Currently, students have the option to purchase a Green (core of campus), White (perimeter of campus), Evening or Overnight permit, ranging from $168 to $392 per semester. On top of that, why are students paying on average more than half what staff and faculty pay for parking, when the latter have salaries that most students, even those with jobs, can only dream of.

CSU parking needs a major overhaul. The rules and regulations need to be modified. And the color-coded discrimination needs to end. I could only afford a white permit, which restricted me to parking in certain LOTS and garages. 

I had two evening classes in fall 2021, one from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. and the other from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Communications and Music building. But I could only park in the garage at that building after 5:30 p.m. If there were no parking spaces available in front of the building, which I had to pay for, then I was forced to park in the South garage. At night, I would have felt safer not having to make that walk.

Since Cleveland State no longer issues plastic hang tags as permits and instead verified by license plate, students are required to park with their plate visible for the parking enforcement team to see while patrolling. 

Earlier in the fall semester I would park in the South garage, but I always backed in so I could drive out, seeing where I am going. I don't have a license plate on the front of my car, which isn't a problem in Ohio, but apparently is a problem for CSU. I received two warnings and then I was ticketed.

After that, I got into a fender bender for following CSU’s parking guidelines. I was backing out of my parking spot when another student backing up tried to switch lanes and ran into my vehicle. I would have seen her backing up if I had been parked as I used to before CSU fined me for effectively being a safe driver.

The way I see it, CSU’s parking security would rather ticket a student for not parking their vehicle a certain way than support that student's desire to drive safely. And why is that student then fined for not having a license plate on the front of their vehicle when that isn't required by Ohio state law?