My name is Kaitlyn Rogers. I am a student in the School of Pharmacy. I am responding to the most recent email sent out by Parking Services in regards to pay-for-parking resuming this semester.
Due to the colder weather, I am not open to the 0.8 mile walk across campus from the 200 Building to the MUC to get a university mandated COVID-19 test. I would venture to say other students feel the same coming from dorms and other buildings away from the MUC. However, I am also not open to $0.75-$1.50 every week simply to park to contribute to public health. I understand it is a small fine, but it adds up over the weeks, and I’m sure it adds up for each student, staff and faculty member who pays to park for their test every week. To me, it sounds like the university is taking advantage of their own mandatory testing policy to make even more money off of students during a pandemic in which many are scared or struggling to work. Paying for parking at the MUC when it is too cold to walk is going to discourage students from getting tested as well.
I do not mean to attack Parking Services in any way. I would also like to state that I am not against weekly testing in any way, but I will work to decrease the barriers to weekly testing in the interest of public health. My view is it is slightly unethical and counterintuitive for the university to charge student, staff and faculty members for parking in lots A, B, C and E (closest to the testing site) when we are following the university’s policy to begin with. It is in mine, and the university’s best interest to encourage testing in as many ways as possible. I think offering free parking for certain hours of the day would be a great start.