While tuition for students at the college is set by the Legislature and administered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, service and activities fees are established by the Board of Trustees. For the coming school year, the board at the June 26, 2013 regular meeting approved increases to fees for parking as well as minor hikes for Parent-Child Center series and several student-document handling fees.
Parking, however, is the most visible increase. Fees for student passes will go up, along with parking-violation fines and, for the first time, adminstrators will need to buy on-campus parking passes. Faculty and Classified employees won’t have to buy passes as parking is covered in those labor contracts.
Student quarterly parking passes will go from $15 tax included to $25 tax not included. At current state and county rates, a student pass will cost $27.38. Parking passes for administrative exempt employees, now free, will cost $30 a month and be payroll deductible. The basic illegal parking fine will go from $25 to $45. The cost of daily passes purchased at the kiosks will go up by 50 percent, from $2 to $3 for the shortest term parking.
Parking operations are funded by several streams, including permit fees, violation fines and an allocation from the Sustainable Commuter Options Fee (SCOF) which is imposed by student government. SCOF also provides a subsidy for student transit passes purchased through Metro Transit and know as the Orca card.
Orca cards are growing in popularity, which, combined with card-price hikes by Metro increases the strain on the SCOF funding. This spring, student government considered, but ultimately withdrew, a motion to no longer allocate any SCOF funds to college parking operations.
At the same time, the overall Safety and Security budget, which includes parking operations, has been in deficit for the past several years. As state funding allocations have been slashed over the past five years, other sources were sought to keep basic operations going, according to Acting Vice President Daryl Cambell, who served as Vice President for Administrative Services. The adjustments helped, but didn’t cover all expenses.
“These continue to be extraordinary times,” Campbell said. “We appreciate the difficult work done by student government to look at SCOF and see the implication that it is unsustainable as currently configured. College staff has also looked at the overall Safety and Security budget and see similar challenges.
“It is clear that more revenue is needed to sustain our parking operations. The proposed increases and additions are just one step in that direction.”
In his presentation to the board, Director of Financial Services Stuart Trippel said that over the coming year, college staff will do a cost analysis of all safety and security operations, including parking, and work toward a goal of determining appropriate funding levels and sources.
The other approved fee increases include:
Parent-Child Center – Rates for students will go up 1.5 percent and non-students will pay an additional 2 percent.
Expedited Transcript Fee – A new $20 fee for students requesting same-day service to get an official transcript. This is in addition to the existing $5 per transcript fee.
International Diploma Mailing Fee – A new $30 per diploma fee designed to cover the cost of processing and mailing to addresses outside the U.S. This is in addition to the already established graduation fee of $20, which includes the cost of the diploma and domestic mailing.