‘I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further’ says Darth Douglas, I mean Vader
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
Last month, while prepping how I might attend four classes while maintaining my three jobs, I figured out the perfect plan. I talked with the security guards and found out that parking at Douglas College was very cheap: one dollar an hour! At that price, it would be ideal for me to work on some days and if I park my car at the campus instead of walking like I usually do, I can still make it to work on time. It was the perfect plan… until I got to school at the beginning of the year and found out that Douglas College had doubled the price of their day to day parking and were no longer allowing people to park for a flat rate after 6pm effective January 1.
In its message regarding the price increase, Douglas College says an increase like this one is the first time the price has increased in 20 years, and that the college’s parking rates were still “the lowest parking fees of any post-secondary institution in the Lower Mainland.”
As for the parking, I went to the Douglas Student Union office at the Coquitlam campus to ask them if they knew why the price increased. I was told that it was because of the higher costs to maintain the facility, but what are these costs? They’re not painting the lines every month. If it for the security, I think most would agree that if we had the choice of having security on the lots or free parking, the majority of us would choose free parking.
The two big maintenance issues are likely regarding the security to enforce the parking rules, and the machines that need to be maintained so you can pay for the parking. I’ve already mentioned how redundant the security is for the parking lot, but what I don’t understand is why it has to cost anything at all? Coquitlam Centre has free parking and security, and as someone who worked at Coquitlam Centre for a time and talked with the security, they are very diligent about making sure no one stays longer than they should—and their parking is free, so why isn’t ours? I highly doubt the school, which just got done with a big library renovation at the New Westminster campus and doing more renovations, is hard up for money.
In the world of the for-profit colleges, why do we have to take this? This school makes enough money. They can afford to offer parking for free. Along with that, if you are at the Coquitlam campus, the SkyTrain parking south of the Lafarge Lake-Douglas station is only $1.00 an hour, and $3.75 for the day, with parking being free after 6pm. With that option, why wouldn’t you want to park there instead of at the school? I think the school is actually putting themselves at risk of making less money (what’s that panic button I hear coming from the administration’s office?) with this increase. For the betterment of everyone and a compromise, just keep the parking the same.