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Valley blindsides students with new parking regulations

Students are now required to purchase parking permits for the first time since the pandemic.

By Kaia Mann, Opinion Editor 

Valley College started requiring parking permits for the first time in more than three years, attempting to make up for lost funds on the backs of their students. 

No longer receiving government money from COVID-19, LACCD seems to be re-instilling parking permits in the 2024 spring semester. For $20 students can purchase a semester-long permit at the business office or acquire a one day pass at ticket kiosks. 

It seems as though requiring parking permits is something new in the spring semester across all schools. East Los Angeles, Mission, and Pierce specifically inform their students of this new policy on their websites, something Valley fails to do. 

Perhaps students should be grateful as Glendale College charges students up to $75 for permits. Most other schools have set prices from $20-30, depending if students chose to park in a preferred lot.

Although Valley could be charging more, why is it up to students to remedy the college's financial issues?  Given tuition and textbook prices, the average cost to attend is already about $1,000. Faced with a 21 percent rent increase and record high inflation rates, many students still struggle financially. Required parking permits after years of free parking is disappointing. 

Valley did a poor job informing students about the sudden change. Just two days before the start of spring semester, the first, and only email was sent out about parking. As the semester rolls out, the first time many students will hear about this new permit system will be by receiving a $35 ticket on their windshields. Is this an attempt for Valley to boost its revenue? 

“I think if you don't send out an email and make people aware, then it is problematic

because what if people park here and they end up getting tickets?” said Nicholas Rivera, a first year biology major. “I can pay the $20 (semester fee) but I'm not trying to pay no ticket. I guess that's where it becomes problematic is not letting people know or not giving a semester (heads up) in advance.” 

If it is true that the lack of federal aid after the pandemic is the reason for this new requirement, Valley could have seen it coming. The money was situational, it was never going to last forever. This new policy would be more widely accepted if students were made aware of the coming change and were given more time to prepare. 

One thing Valley did do right was in providing an alternative solution. Students are offered a free metro GoPass that grants access to ride the metro/rail line anytime, anywhere for the entire year. However, the metro, while cost effective and green, is not a perfect substitute for driving. 

Los Angeles is a commuting city. It is simply not realistic to expect students to rely solely on public transportation to get to and from class. Not to mention the large percent of students taking night classes that may not want to ride the bus after dark. 

Arguments that the requirement of parking permits will ease full lots on campus are misguided. The permits do not cost much. This new regulation will most likely just inconvenience Valley students. The real issue lies in the principle.

Valley College should not blindside students with the return of parking permits to make up for the money they stopped receiving from the government. When the temporary money was in fact temporary, it shouldn’t be up to students to pick up the tab.


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