The issue of parking on campus is a major grumble among the students of Yuba College. Most people have no idea where the $20 they shell out each semester goes. According to Mr. Paul Mendoza, Assistant Superintendent/ Vice President of Student Services, “The cost is controlled; a school cannot adopt any fee.” Parking fees on college campuses are controlled by the State Legislature and the Governor. The districts are authorized to require students and staff to pay up to $40 per semester and $20 for summer for parking, according to Education Code 76360. Most community colleges in the district charge $40 per semester for parking. For instance, Sierra College charges $40 per semester. Butte College charges students $60 to park on campus because Butte College offers public transportation for students and the higher rates help to recover some of the transportation costs incurred by the district. Students who receive financial aid or are considered low income may be exempt from parking fees that exceed $20. “I am unaware of any students at Yuba College who are currently exempt from parking costs,” said Liz Skelly, Director of Fiscal Services. This is because students at Yuba only pay $20 for parking. However, if parking fees were to increase many students may qualify for reduced parking fees. To encourage carpooling and ridesharing, a student who can prove he or she regularly has two or more passengers commuting to campus may be eligible for reduced parking fees, when fees exceed $30. Faculty members and staff are charged the same amount as students for their reserved parking places. Dorm residents also pay $20 per semester for their reserved spots. Yuba College may be seeing an increase in parking costs in the near future. If an increase is approved the cost to park would go up to $25 per semester. Students could see this change beginning next academic year. Many students look at the Yuba College parking lots and wonder where their money goes. “A school cannot charge for just any reason,” says Mendoza. Parking fees are deposited into a designated fund and the revenue can only be used for “parking services.” Such services include the purchase, construction, operation and maintenance of parking facilities. At Yuba College some of the money also goes towards the salaries of campus police officers and cadets. Mendoza says during the college’s yearly audit, parking fee revenues are scrutinized to make sure charges are legitimate and the money is being used properly. If money is found to be used incorrectly, the college would be notified and warned to stop, and monies may have to be reimbursed to the special fund. The campus lots will be undergoing some much needed improvements soon. The west parking lot will be resurfaced, repainted and restriped. Repairs are expected to begin this summer. Some of the work may be done during the break between spring semester and the summer intersession and between summer and fall semester. Work may also be done on the weekends. “It will be at times of minimal disruption to students and staff,” Mendoza said. The cost of the repairs to the west lot is estimated at between $220 and $230 thousand. When students return to classes in the fall, there will also be security “call 24” boxes, similar to those on highways, in the parking lots and possibly on the campus itself. They will be installed for safety of the staff and students and especially for those who are on campus at night. “The resurfacing project has been put off for nearly two years, but the funds are now available,” Mendoza said. As for any further improvements or expansion to parking none are planned at this time. Another concern students have is the lack of parking on campus. Both Dunn and Mendoza say this is a big complaint and the first few weeks of the semester are always bad for finding parking. Both men agree that after three or four weeks of school, students begin adjusting their classes and this becomes less of a problem. Mendoza stressed that the administration is interested in student views on the parking issue. “If students have issues, we do want to hear from them,” Mendoza said. “Let us know of any ideas or recommendations to improve services.” The police chief also added that the campus police are lenient during the first weeks of school. Parking citations will cost a student $11 and $15 will be charged for parking in reserved parking places. Dunn continued, “We have a fair policy if a student wants to appeal a citation.” If a student wishes to appeal, he or she should contact the campus police department. Each appeal is individually reviewed and many result in avoiding a trip to the district courthouse.