Re: “UVA residents talk rent increases, parking,” published Sept. 1.
As some readers are probably aware, there have been significant adverse changes made recently relative to the University Village Apartments resident parking lot. What many readers may not be aware of, however, is how and why these changes took affect.
After speaking with someone at Parking Services, I learned that last year a meeting was held to discuss the CSU Chancellor’s Office mandate to maximize the use of parking spaces here at Cal State Northridge, as well as all other Cal State universities.
The grossly loose interpretation of this mandate called for the parking office to look at our parking lot as just another CSUN parking lot. To prove the point, they began calling the lot G-11. No respect was made to distinguish this lot from the others, when, in fact, it is significantly different from the other lots.
First, we are students who choose to live in family housing to save money! Many of us either walk, ride a bike, or rollerblade to our classes so that we can avoid paying an extra parking permit fee.
Secondly, we are residents of our apartments not simply parking to get to class. How convenient would it be, realistically, to have to lug groceries a block and a half down the street? Not at all convenient, I imagine.
Furthermore, many of us have children. When we get home, there is no good reason we should be walking so far with our children. The current heat wave only exacerbates the problem. The truth of the matter is, that this UVA parking lot is significantly different from any other lot on campus; and, thus should be regarded as such.
The staffer I spoke to directed me to CSUN Chief of Police Anne Glavin. Her assistant informed me that there has to be a written complaint to the chief before any action can be done. And, let me assure you, there are alternatives to this specific action that still fulfill the required mandate.
For example, Parking Services could negotiate with Student Housing and offer a special permit for this specific lot (as was the case previously) at no cost to the residents. If the residents wanted to purchase a regular campus permit to park in other lots, that would be at their discretion.
We must use our voice to insist that the people who made this decision be responsible for coming up with an alternative that is fair and respectful for the residents.
Our petition(s) alone to effect change was not sufficient. Thus far, the only action taken on the part of Parking Services was to repave, repaint and install a new gate for our parking lot.
A gate (which prevents transients from picking through our trash cans or unwelcome visitors who may pose a threat to our children), new pavement (now, without glass and cracks to protect our cars), and clearly delineated stalls to park it have been installed.
Should they be making this out to be privilege? I say emphatically no. This is a safety issue, not a privilege. The “services” that they’ve provided ought to have been provided ages ago, and certainly do not outweigh the monetary cost.
With the increase of rent by $100 per month, and the now-required parking permit, the cost of living in the UVA does not help students save money for attendance – especially with the rising tuition prices. The unreasonable position that both the Student Housing office and Parking Services have taken is unacceptable.
The decisions they have made recently have been without regard to what is in the best interest of the families who live on campus to pursue higher education, but rather what coffers can be collecte d. They have taken on the role of greedy tax collector to the poorest of poor. How shameful!
– A UVA resident