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Parking permit prices rise

Student senators discuss parking, divestments and fall break.

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Parking Structure 2

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Parking Structure 2

James Chow, Staff Writer

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Prices for student parking permits are expected to continually raise over the next four years. During the Associated Students, Inc. Senate meeting on Wednesday, Sharon Taylor, the associate vice president for financial management, discussed changes in parking and transportation facilities for the upcoming year.

Right now, the semester parking permit price for students is $123, and is expected to go up to $130 next year. By 2021, student parking permits will top off at $175 per semester.

Taylor said the reason why parking fees are going up is due to staffing and sustainability problems in parking lots. By deferring maintenance, CSULB saved up $16 million in reserves prior to the deficit.

But, since the inadequate maintenance of the parking lots is more severe, sustainability plans are more expensive.

“Maintenance on parking lots was very severe,” Taylor said. “Lot 14 is still a major problem and is estimated to cost $26 million to repair. We’ll likely go out for additional debt in the following summer to redo the lot. [But] if you don’t maintain your lots, the structural damage is significantly more. Things that should’ve cost half a million to repair cost $2 million now.”

Despite the hike in cost, Cal State Long Beach’s cost for parking permits is lower than other Southern California CSUs. Cal State LA and San Diego State University have the second lowest cost at $165, while Cal State San Marcos has the most expensive permit cost at $338 per semester.

Student senators were upset upon hearing the news.

“[Just] because we have the lowest [permit cost] … shouldn’t be a reason why we have to have increase to begin with,” said senator-at-large and president-elect Daniel Gomez. “We just finished battling a tuition increase that we lost. An increase in fees could be problematic.”

Senator-at-large Yasmin Elasmar echoed the sentiments of poorer students on campus.

“When you’re talking about lowering demand, you’re doing it on the backs of poor students because when you raise the price, it’s no longer an option for me to buy a parking permit,” Elasmar said. “I understand there has to be a way to lower demand, but I think it’s discriminatory to those who can’t afford [it].”

Other parking and transportation issues addressed during the meeting included student ID checks on shuttles, parking lot 5 opening to students at 5:30 p.m. during finals week, continuing when the year ends and parking lots 7 and 14 acquiring solar panels.

Also, the senate discussed three resolutions asking the university and its auxiliaries to divest from companies that support LGBTQ oppression, Palestinian oppression and companies that profit from private prisons.

Elasmar, who helped co-author all the resolutions discussed, pinpointed companies that negatively reacted to LGBT individuals.

“We would no longer put anymore of our investment money in Chick-fil-A and things like the Salvation Army,” Elasmar said. “Salvation Army does not provide housing or clothing if you identify as LGBT … I think that the divestment is a good place to start in terms of showing where we stand on issues like these.”

In regard to the Palestinian and private prison resolutions, Elasmar and co-author Yasmeen Azam remained adamant against supporting companies that benefitted from human rights violations of Palestinian people and those that gain revenue from private prisons using cheap labor for production.

“We should be standing up for human rights,” Elasmar said.

During President Marvin Flores’ report, he relayed to the senate that there will be two options for fall break, which is usually the entire week of Thanksgiving.

The first option is having the whole break off. But on the week of Veteran’s Day, which is November 11, the following Tuesday and Wednesday would have Monday’s schedule.

The second option involves a shorter fall break, where there will be Monday and Tuesday classes during the week of Thanksgiving.

The updated calendar will be voted on next Tuesday by the Executive Academic Senate Committee.

ASI Senate also passed for its second reading structural bylaws that would reorganize and rename certain entities including the title of secretary to commissioner within the student government.

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