Staff Editorial: Sale of parking passes inaccessible

Administration must alter system, remove barriers 


Abby Prestholdt

Students buying parking permits online may cause barriers. Second semester parking permits will be sold online for the first time Jan 24.

As finals and the beginning of second semester near, Park administration has announced that parking passes for the remainder of the year will be sold online for the first time. 

Although this system will likely be more efficient than the one used in the past — where students had to come in to school early to buy passes at the beginning of each semester — the Echo Editorial Board believes adjustments must be made in order to prioritize accessibility of passes to all students.

According to the student office, the sale will begin 8 a.m. Jan. 24, with passes being sold for $50 each. Students will have to make their purchase online in advance, and then bring their receipt and driver’s license to the student office the following school day in order to collect their pass. By moving the sales online, the student office will likely bypass the large, early morning lines that have been typical in the past; however, there will be no school Jan. 24 as it is the day after semester finals, creating an issue for students without stable internet access.

The passes sell quickly, according to the student office, but without access to the school’s computer labs, some students may be left without a computer or internet to purchase their pass. 

The Echo Editorial Board asks that the administration delay the sale of passes to the following Monday, Jan. 27, so any student may purchase their pass in the building with access to a good computer, working printer and stable internet.

By hosting the sale online, the student office is essentially requiring that students pay with a credit or debit card. According to the student office, if this truly is a barrier for some students, they should come and discuss their situation with the student office. We applaud this effort to be inclusive, however, students should not have to seek special treatment or go out of their way to pay with cash or in person. Instead, these two options should be standardized alongside the online sales in order to make the passes more accessible for all students.

Although not unique to this upcoming semester, the high price of the passes will likely act as a barrier for many students. The Echo Editorial Board believes that a scholarship fund — either funded by the administration or by students — should be created in order to supplement the cost for students that cannot afford it.

Overall, the Board supports the new system, however, it is key that changes are made in order to eliminate barriers that threaten access to the passes, such as the need for stable internet, enough money to afford it and the ability to pay online with plastic.