Wensday, January 16, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 73


 
 









 
Avoid book costs and parking fees

Brandon Moeller

Tuition for 15 semester credit hours: $1,512. Total of random student fees: $413. Estimated cost of books for this semester: $300. An outlying
parking lot permit: $20. The know-how to avoid paying too much for books and permits: priceless.

Last semester, I started driving a car that was handed down to me by my mom, God bless her soul. Since the car had never set burn marks on
the UH campus, I decided I'd conduct an experiment to see if I ever needed to purchase a parking permit.

Last semester I received three parking tickets, but since the UH parking and transportation services department did not have my information
registered, they couldn't bill me. They could only threaten me with their intimidating yellow envelopes, claiming that on the fourth citation they
would tow.

I normally park in an outlying parking lot far away from the school to avoid the eagle-eye scrutiny of the parking Gestapo. But it's obvious that
whoever goes around to ticket cars doesn't take their job too seriously, because last semester I came to campus four days a week for a whole
semester and found only three envelopes on my windshield.

Granted, the powers that be do police the parking lots in front of the residence halls and other frequently jammed lots more often than they can
get to the outlying ones, but their overall assurance that only registered permit-holding students are parking in the lots is questionable.

Also, as we all know, there aren't enough spots to go around anyway -- even if everyone did buy a permit. So why should I buy one?

I say I shouldn't. I used to buy them, like most of you do. But after a few years of realizing that most students buy permits, and UH enrollment
keeps climbing, yet the number of new parking spaces is rising at an uneven rate, I decided to boycott the system. Why should I pay more
money to UH than I should have to if the money obviously doesn't go to fix the existing problems and there are no real repercussions for being a
rogue parker?

You too can join the silent protest by not buying a permit. However, if you want to avoid the citation form showing up on your fee bill, make sure
your information is not registered with the parking department. I hope you join me in this protest; after all, there's strength in numbers.

Of all the fees we have to pay on our fee bill, including the atrocious $120 computer technology fee that I don't have space to discuss in this
writing, the $30 fee for the luminous M.D. Anderson Memorial Library is the most reasonable. More students should take advantage of the
library's many benefits.

If it weren't for the library, I might actually have to buy most of my books this semester. Instead, however, I chose to get to campus early on the
first day of this semester and hit the library after composing a list of the books I needed at the campus bookstore. At the library I found more than
half of the books I needed. Also, there's no limit to the number of books you can check out at any time.

And my favorite perk is that the library doesn't charge late fees. I guess that's where the $30 late fee on the fee bill comes in. Because, I suppose,
it's possible to check out all the books you'll ever need for a semester at the beginning and then turn them all in at the end and never pay a dime
for your inability to afford the overpriced books at the campus bookstores.

But I don't recommend it. If somebody wants one of the books you're hoarding in your room, the library will call you to harass you. You'll also get
reminder notices in the mail and e-mail.

Moeller, a senior communication 
major, can be reached at brandonmoeller@hotmail.com.


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