By NICOLE JOBES
The early bird gets the worm … or in this case, the parking spot.
By 8 a.m. on any given weekday, the carpool lot on Homer Watson Boulevard is full. By 8:30 a.m. on the same weekday, the lot is crowded and over capacity.
A small sign at the back of the lot states the lot is for “commuter use only;” however, it’s not just commuters taking up spots.
Students feeling the financial pressures of post-secondary education have found a clever way to avoid paying for parking at Conestoga College. Parked in every-which-way possible, students and commuters alike try and squeeze their vehicles into every crevasse the lot has to offer.
“I just get here as early as I can and hope to find a spot … it helps that my car is a tiny little Civic and fits pretty much anywhere,” said Breanne Docherty, a first-year general arts student at the college. Docherty did not buy a parking pass at the Doon campus because she felt it was overpriced.
Parking at the college has gradually increased over the last three years from $365 to $435 for an annual pass. Barb Eichholz of Safety and Security Services at Conestoga’s Doon campus said while students may feel parking is costly, their prices are competitive with other colleges across the province.
However, Docherty said, “I pay enough in tuition and gas as it is … it just feels like the bottom line is about dollar signs, not the welfare of the students.”
Another first-year Conestoga student, Amanda Busby, bought a semi-annual parking pass at the Doon campus.
“I am considering parking in the carpool next term just to save the extra cash,” Busby said. “It is slightly concerning seeing how people park in the ditches in there now though, I may just bite the bullet and buy another pass to save the hassle.”