A Message from the President – Sep. 8, 2011

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Welcome – or welcome back – to the University of Regina! I hope you all had a great summer.

The University of Regina Students’ Union has many exciting events planned for this fall.  One major event is a student-issues campaign, which we will be running during the provincial election (voting day is Nov. 7). More information will be released over the next few weeks, but if you would like to volunteer or be involved in any way, send a quick email to: president@ursu.ca.

An issue we are focusing on right now is the university’s decision to jack up the cost of parking tickets by 333 per cent. 2011 University of Regina president Vianne Timmons and the U of R parking services have deemed it necessary to raise the price of a parking ticket from $50 to $100. The increase is even more drastic when considering the cost of early payment. It used to be $15, but will now cost an outrageous $65 – an increase of over 333 per cent. 

The issue is larger than simply penalizing illegal parkers. In theory, the deterrence of a stiff parking ticket would mean additional stalls for pass-holding students. However, using the university’s own numbers, there were about 200 illegal parkers in November of last year – or 4 per cent of total parking stalls. Even if all 200 illegal parkers stopped parking illegally, the demand for parking this year will actually increase due to a nearly 10 per cent jump in enrollment, a new faculty of nursing which will have some 350 students, and a climbing number of residence students who need to park their vehicles. 

Simply put: the University of Regina has created a parking problem and now students are being forced to bear the burden of the cost.

The university has done nothing substantial to work with the City of Regina to improve public transit – which would decrease parking demand – and parking services continues to oversell parking stalls to rake in more and more profit. In fact, over the last fiscal year, parking services made $419,000 in profit – enough to buy a parking pass for nearly 8,000 students. To add insult to injury, the outrageous increase in parking ticket fees all goes to the City of Regina – meaning students will see no increase in service or parking lot maintenance.

However, there is something we can do to reverse the university’s decision. On July 19, Vianne Timmons said to me, “I have never received an email from a student complaining about parking.” Friends, I think we should change that. Please send an email to Vianne.Timmons@uregina.ca and let her know that the university has created a parking problem, and that charging students 333 per cent more for a ticket isn’t going to fix it.

Kent Peterson
URSU President

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