The new $25 semester campus access fee for students is a tuition hike no matter what officials call it.
Trustees voted May 23 to add a $25 charge each fall and spring semester for a campus access fee to help pay for debt service on parking garages, lots and road maintenance.
For that fee, students get a parking permit or a VIA bus pass valid through December.
Employee parking permits cost $50 for the year and will be paid through payroll deduction.
A regular student bus pass costs $35, and VIA offers a spring pass.
So while this is a savings for students who enroll only in the fall semester and take the bus, it is not a savings for all students.
The access fee offers no benefit for students who only take an online class and never step on a campus.
Others needlessly shelling out an extra $25 each semester are those who walk, bike, carpool or get dropped off.
In April, trustees unanimously agreed they wouldn’t raise the price of tuition for 2013-14.
Charging students for something they don’t need is a rise in tuition.
A hike is a hike. Don’t play semantics with students, most of whom work long hours to pay for their educations.
Students who don’t need a parking permit or VIA bus pass shouldn’t be penalized.
They shouldn’t have to pay to access the campus of a public institution.