Student government decides to survey students on fee fixes; ASLCC considers parking pass as possible source of revenue

Lane currently does not charge for partking, however the committee is discussing a fee.Photo: Eugene Johnson

Lane currently does not charge for partking, however the committee is discussing a fee.
Photo: Eugene Johnson

Lane’s student government will survey students about whether they’d support increasing the college’s transportation fee, cutting the programs it pays for or implementing a parking pass.

ASLCC Sustainability Coordinator Michael Weed sits on the Transportation Fee Committee, and said the fees account currently has a surplus. However, since the college’s recent addition of a downtown campus, parking costs have increased by $28,000, putting stress on the fee revenue account.

The fee, which every student taking classes on the main campus pays each term, helps cover student bus passes; BikeLane, a program to encourage cycling to and from campus; and Zimride, a carpool network for students and staff. Students who attend classes at Lane pay a $27 fee per student, while students taking classes away from the main campus pay only a $5 transportation fee each term.

The issue was first discussed publicly during the Jan. 29 ASLCC Senate meeting, when members of the student government first decided the fee merited closer student-attention.

During the Feb. 12 meeting, Weed told student leaders a number of strategies had been been considered when he had attended the transportation fee committee meeting in January, including adding $1 or $2 to the transportation fee in the near future, cutting programs the fee supports, or implementing a parking pass.

Because all plans discussed by the committee were still in the stages of early brainstorming, it was unclear whether the Lane staff members who drive to work would be required to purchase parking passes as well.

Weed said he doesn’t want students to be charged more than they already pay to attend school, and told his fellow committee members that he felt charging students a fee for a parking pass wasn’t fair. However, Weed said he felt that the other two people on the committee are sympathetic to students, so he tried to be sympathetic to his fellow committee members too.

“I said, ‘As a person, that’s the way I would go if I were you, and I was trying to make up revenue,’” Weed said. “And the reasoning behind that — yes, that really, really sucks — but this is the third school I’ve gone to, and this is the first one that has not charged for a parking permit.”

ASLCC Treasurer Zach Wais told his colleagues that implementing and enforcing such a program would cost money in additional personnel.

“I don’t think they’ve considered that,” Wais said.

ASLCC President Paul Zito wasn’t enthused by the prospect of forcing students to purchase parking passes.

“If they’re able to charge specific students to get a permit to park, that’s the laziest way to come up with revenue,” Zito said.