Having a car in Buckeye Village might soon cost some residents more than a month of rent, and some Ohio State students and residents of the complex are considering moving because of it.
Residents received an email Monday that said parking policies are set to change in the 2014-15 academic year.
Buckeye Village residents currently have free parking for residents with one or two vehicles offered as part of their rental rates, according to the University Housing website. The email, however, stated “parking no longer will be included as part of the Buckeye Village housing contract” beginning Aug. 1.
Buckeye Village is located across the Olentangy River on Defiance Drive near Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and features family housing apartments through the university, intended for Ohio State students with spouses or children.
Students are able to chose between a pass that includes parking “directly around Buckeye Village as well as any C location on campus and overnight parking in Lane and West Lane garages” for about $620 each year or a pass that offers daily and overnight parking on West Campus for $402 yearly. The prices “will increase no more than 5.5 percent for next year,” according to the email.
Some students, though, have spoken out against the policy changes.
“I wouldn’t say that anyone was really surprised with the email, disappointed yes, but not really surprised,” Andrew Skabelund, a Ph.D. student in African history, said in an email. “Extracting money from single moms and foreign students who are limited in the hours they can work during the week is not something I will stand for.”
In Spring Semester 2013, a similar decision was announced and residents were initially told they would have to pay more than $600 for a parking pass. After some residents signed a petition protesting the changes, however, the university announced that parking would remain free for the following year.
“I’m not surprised, I almost expected to receive such (an) email. (Petitioning for and getting free parking) last year didn’t really conclude anything,” Shuai Dong, a third-year graduate student in pharmacy who currently uses a B pass, said in an email. A B pass allows parking on central campus surface lots.
Skabelund said a petition was started again this year protesting the costs.
“After organizing last spring, we were assured that we wouldn’t have to pay the parking fee CampusParc was asking, and we assumed that CampusParc had listened to our concerns,” he said. “It wasn’t that we were unwilling to pay, it’s just that they were trying to force parking on us that we didn’t really need.”
Skabelund said he and his wife have a car but he has never used it to park on campus other than at Buckeye Village.
CampusParc took over daily operations of OSU’s parking in September 2012 as part of a 50-year, $483 million contract between OSU and QIC Global Infrastructure. David Hoover, communications director for CampusParc, however, said the decision to charge for parking at Buckeye Village was a university decision and was not made by CampusParc.
Hoover referred The Lantern to Student Life for comment.
“While CampusParc operates the university’s parking system — including parking at Buckeye Village — the university continues to set policy related to campus parking, including permit classifications,” Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs said in an email.
Isaacs also said the university made the decision “in order to be consistent in its approach to parking for students who live in university housing, regardless of location.”
The email Buckeye Village residents received said monthly housing rates will not be raised for the following academic year. Current rent at Buckeye Village is $545 per month for a one-room apartment and $685 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the University Housing website.
Isaacs said there is more time this year for residents to make a decision about living for next year, as they were given more notice of the new cost of parking passes.
“Last year, because the contract renewal timeline was compressed, the university chose to fund parking at Buckeye Village,” Isaacs said. “This year we are giving residents significantly more time to prepare for this change and make housing decisions for next year.”
The email students received said the deadline for signed contracts is March 28. It also said Buckeye Village will continue its bus service to and from campus, which Student Life funds at a cost of about $125,000 annually.
Skabelund said he and his wife have discussed the possibility of moving after hearing the announcement of parking increases.
“You can find much nicer apartments at comparable prices in the area,” he said.
Dong also said she would consider moving.
“As for myself as a resident, I don’t feel confident enough living in BV without having to budget out parking fee in the future. So I will definitely look for new places that’s more cost-effective,” she said.