Avoid book costs and
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
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
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.