Price increase meant to offset costs of maintenance

By John Pikula

 

A sign in Ripon College’s R Lot.
Photo courtesy of Parker Cox.

Over the summer, the price for a parking lot permit for the 2019-20 school year increased for the first time in nearly a decade.

Students were made aware of this increase via social media over the summer.While many students were not happy about the change, administrators claim that the price increase will benefit everyone who parks their cars in a campus lot.

Mary Ann Douglas, Ripon College’s chemistry stockroom supervisor, took over the parking lot assignment in December 2018. She said the reasoning behind the parking increase is, “for maintenance of the parking lots and to build, if necessary, future parking lots.” It is unknown at this time if the parking permit price will rise again.

Even though the price of permits allowing students to park in  the lots increased, it did not affect the number of students who bought a permit from the previous year. About 377 students paid to park in a lot for this school year, which is around the same amount as the 2018-19 school year.

The price increase did not shy away many students like Caleb Cihlar, a second semester freshman, from deciding that having his car on campus was more important than the price. “I wanted to have my car on campus so I would have a way of transportation. I thought that it was important to have because I wanted to be able to go do activities with friends, and go home to see my family,” he said.

“There are no near projects to fix conditions in the parking lots,” said Brian Skamra, Ripon College’s director of the physical plant department “Next year we will patch and repair potholes with heat patches.”

However, snow removal and trash pickup are a priority in the parking lots because “that is about all that is done through the school year”.

Several Ripon College students, meanwhile, stated that they feel like they pay too much for a parking permit. Compared to the closest institution to Ripon College, UW-Oshkosh, students pay around the same amount or more than students at Ripon College do for their parking permits according to their website.

Douglas explained that she believes  the parking lots are not overcrowded since a few parking spots remain available on campus. Students interested in getting a permit should email Douglas to ask about availability.

Although no major changes to the parking lots are going to occur this school year, the money collected from this year will go toward future projects.