Complaints about additional fees are continuing following a recently-implemented decision by the college to begin charging for parking on evenings and weekends.
As of Sept. 1, parking fees will apply at the Ottawa campus in lots eight, nine, 10 and 12. According to Brent Brownlee, the director of campus services, this is to ensure a fair approach to parking on campus for everyone, regardless of the time of day.
In an effort to keep this additional cost affordable, a flat rate of $5 has been imposed per evening, Saturday or Sunday and cheaper permits are being offered to those who regularly visit the college at these times.
Reduced price or not, some students feel this is simply another way for the college to take more money from their pockets to cover costs.
Nic Frolick, a student in the electro-mechanical engineering program, has dealt with parking frustrations at the college for years and doesn’t see this decision as being in the best interest of students.
“For the school to first off not allow the option to pay for a school year of parking and only allow an option to pay from September to August is ridiculous,” he said, “Then to add on to that they go and make students pay for parking on evenings and weekends and it just seems like they are trying to get more money out of the students with unnecessary charges.”
If this is a way for the college to ensure stronger financial stability, he feels they need to find better ways of achieving it that will directly benefit the students, such as having more food options available later in the evening and on weekends.
Luke Krolak, a recent graduate from the business administration program, served a term on the Students’ Association Board of Directors last year and has a unique perspective on this issue.
While he believes that one reason behind these new parking fees could be to promote fairness, he also sees it as a possible way to make up for additional costs that have turned up as a result of the province’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs law that was introduced in 2017.
This motion put forward in Bill 148 asks that employees be given equal pay for equal work, regardless of full-time or part-time position. This will cost the Ontario college system millions of dollars and they will have to make up for the losses somehow.
“With everyone being on the same level, salary expenses for the college have gone up,” he said. “They are conscious of money and parking might be the most visible cost associated with this new bill.”
According to Krolak, these expenses that didn’t previously exist have left the college scrambling and students should be wary of what is to come.
“The parking is just going to be one thing in the Algonquin College experience that is going to change because of this bill,” he said. “Students should be asking what else will be affected because of this.”