Students want parking permit refunds

BY REBECCA SOARES

The strike has long been forgotten by many students, but some still have questions.

“I didn’t receive any compensation for the parking permits. Are we supposed to get anything? We haven’t really been given any information,” said Monty Khayal, a second-year television broadcast student.

The Ontario college strike dragged on for five weeks last semester and once it ended Conestoga staff were faced with many questions including those about tuition refunds, semester’s end and exams. Despite all the communication from the college, the one thing missing was information about receiving compensation for parking permits.

“I don’t think it’s very fair. I mean, I already paid a lot of money just to park for roughly two hours a day then the strike happened and I never came to school. It was a waste of money.” said Mikayla Pollock, a first-year pre-health student.

Conestoga administrators may argue the college was open and its resources were still available to students during the strike, including the library, labs and rec centre. However, if that’s the college’s rationale, students aren’t buying it.

“Why would I need to come to campus? All my assignments were put on hold so there was nothing to research. And even if there was, I wasn’t about to wait to go past the picket line, it wasn’t worth it,” said Pollock.

According to CTV News, Sheridan College students have similar complaints. However, student Ian Capili did receive a refund, but it was only $15.30 because his campus was open to students during the strike. That amount outraged his mother, who contacted CTV News for help, after which the reimbursement was increased to $176.

While Conestoga hasn’t released any information about a refund on parking permits they did implement a student strike relief fund to help those who experienced financial hardship. However, Conestoga students don’t think that it’s enough.

“The relief fund helped those in need but that didn’t cover people who deserve their money back,” Pollock said.

“I paid $262 for a one semester parking permit that went unused for a majority of the semester. The college should be offering compensation for what was wasted, not just to those who needed a refund the most.”

Two months later and Conestoga still has yet to make any statements regarding the parking permits.

“We were off a really long time and we should be compensated,” said Khayal.

Spoke contacted Mike Dinning, vice-president of student affairs, but Dinning said he has, “No responsibility for the management and operation of parking services at Conestoga College. Any information I could provide would be limited.”

Calls and emails to Kirsty Bradley-McMurtrie, director of Security Services, and Conestoga’s Parking Services department were not returned.

“I just want to know what’s going on and I hope they do something. Even if it’s reducing future prices, because it’s a lot of money for a student,” said Khayal.

If you would like to voice your concerns, Conestoga Students Inc. is an active voice for students and will listen to issues you have regarding parking permits.

About Spoke

Spoke Online is produced weekly during the school year by Conestoga College second-year journalism print students, faculty adviser Christina Jonas and new media technologist Michael Toll.