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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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This article is from the 11/16/2006 edition of the MSU Reporter.

Keep the Free Lot Free

Issue date: 11/16/06 Section: Editorial

We can only bend so far before we break.

Since tuition rates and student fees evidently rise every year, Minnesota State should be concerned with lowering other expenses that come with being a college student, and especially should not be adding to the expense. Changing the on-campus free parking lot, Lot 23, to a pay lot would further hinder many MSU students financially.

Before this starts to sound like an attack, we'll give credit MSU parking for staying out of student fees and being self-sufficient. Keep it that way and keep the free lot. Paving the lot and adding better lighting would be a plus, but to charge students to use the lot would be just another shot to the wallet's of many students.

The amount extra spending students are forced to do after they pay tuition is adding up - just look at how much concern there has been this year with increasing textbook prices.

The Parking Advisory Committee even admitted in the proposal that, since the free lot had been around for a long time, there would be an expected resistance to changing the free lot to a pay lot (story on Page 1.)

Business majors have to buy new laptop computers. Art and Theatre students have to spend up to $100s of dollars on supplies just for one course. These days, students need to have both a computer and the Internet at home to do homework assignments. Add on big buys like textbooks and small items like Scantron bubble sheets and the $15 MavPRINT fee and all piles up fast and high.

It should be no surprise student debt is such a major issue in this country.

Having a free lot on a college campus is a privilege, as most colleges don't have them. For that same reason, the free lot should be something MSU hangs its hat on and look at as advantage it has over other universities, not something it should be trying to get rid of.

From here on, we should be treating any expense as a straw that could break college students' backs - or at least their wallets.

At some point, this has to change. College life can't keep getting more and more expensive. Keep the free lot free.