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A sign outside of a campus parking lot. Josephine von Dohlen | Col­legian

 

It now costs to have a car on campus — $50, to be exact.

Effective this semester, Hillsdale College is requiring stu­dents to pay $25 per semester to reg­ister their cars. If a student’s vehicle is found without reg­is­tration, they must pay $75. The school will use the col­lected fees to pay for parking lot main­te­nance, including paving, patching, and sealing.

Dean of Men Aaron Petersen called the fee a “small and rea­sonable amount,” saying other schools charge “in the hun­dreds” for reg­is­tration. Student parking at Michigan State Uni­versity costs between $106 to $306, and it’s $125 to $350 at Hope College, according to their web­sites.

“Parking on campus is at a premium, espe­cially with all the con­struction projects underway,” Petersen said in an email. “It’s probably human nature to cringe a little at any increase, but our stu­dents are respon­sible and good at part­nering with the college.”

The college’s pre­vious policy did not charge stu­dents to reg­ister their vehicle and ticketed only $35 for a non-reg­is­tered vehicle. There is still no charge to reg­ister a bike.

Hillsdale College security did not respond to requests for comment.

Some stu­dents said they are unhappy about the policy.

“All a fee does is create a dis­in­centive for stu­dents to actually reg­ister their cars,” senior Josh Orlaski said in an email. “Everyone knows that if you don’t reg­ister your car in the first place, it is very dif­ficult for Hillsdale security to give you a ticket, so it is silly to add a fee to some­thing stu­dents don’t want to do anyways.”

Orlaski, who had a car on campus both last year and again this year, added the college should reward reg­is­tration instead. He sug­gested a book­store gift card for stu­dents who reg­ister on time.

Senior Maria Theisen expressed similar feelings, saying that because she reg­is­tered her car last year, it is easier for the school to ticket her.

“Someone who evaded this rule the past three years could con­tinue to do the same thing — the college does not have their plate on file,” Theisen said. “By fol­lowing the rules in the past, I was pun­ished by having to pay the $50 fee, [which was] put in place because people weren’t fol­lowing the rules.”

Some stu­dents took issue not with the policy but with the amount of the fee.

“While I fully under­stand that our college is much less expensive than many in the nation, it’s still a lot of money,” junior Corinne Prost said in an email. “Adding $50 to those charges is another burden, and I don’t think an alto­gether nec­essary one.”

The college would dis­agree.

“The college prides itself in being respon­sible and effi­cient with its physical plant and its main­te­nance,” Petersen said. “These fees help support the college in this.”

  • disqus_odKVC5cL1k

    Just be glad you aren’t at a larger school. There the parking permit is a permit to hunt for a spot, with often 3 or 4 tags per actual spot issued. Couple that with having to move the cars out so they can resell the parking for game day, well, that $50 is cheap.