WTAMU proposes in increase transportation fees

Art by Chris Brockman.
Art by Chris Brockman.

Officials at West Texas A&M University scheduled three hearings this past week to discuss fee and tuition rate changes for undergraduates. Among the fees addressed are the transportation fee consolidations and increases. The proposal will combine the transportation fee, traffic safety fee and parking permits.

“The increase will be moderate in relation to what a current student with a car pays currently,” Lieutenant Patrick Coggins, Director of Police Operations, said. “With the elimination of the Traffic Safety Fee, students would pay a flat $40 Transportation Fee for each long semester, and $20 per summer term. They would not, however, have to pay an additional fee for the parking permit, as each student who pays the Transportation Fee will be entitled to a parking permit for his or her vehicle.”

The increase of revenue would allow WTAMU to add an additional parking lot as well as an additional bus to the shuttle bus system.

“The parking situation is unsatisfactory since the large majority of campus is made of commuter students,” Nora Hyman, senior graphic design major, said. “I’m all for it if they really do make another parking lot and if it does actually help the parking situation.”

Parking Services made a recommendation for the transportation fee changes, but the final proposal came from the president’s office. With this raise in price, faculty and staff will be required to pay more for their parking permits.

“Its first come first serve parking so they have to fight with the students to park,” Hyman said. “Why should they have to pay more when they are having to park in the same places as a student? I don’t think the size and location of WT warrants the increase of faculty member permits.”

Resources like a PDF version of the PowerPoint presentation can be found on the WTAMU website, as well as other documents further explaining the tuition and fee rate changes.

“I think it’s important as these things move forward that students get to voice their concerns and that they get all the facts,” Dr. Vartabedian, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, said. “I would be much more receptive to hearing about a fee hike or a parking permit hike, if I could see what other schools across the state or nation were charging. If I see that ours is relatively low in comparison, I would be much more accepting of that kind of change.”

Parking permits would remain valid for a year, and students will still have to go through the online process to request a permit. This is a process that must go through the Board of Regents and a final decision will be made in May.