A Project for Better Journalism chapter
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Why do we pay for parking?

   Last year, WO Alumni Julia Miller was walking to her car. She noticed a small piece of paper stuck to her windshield: a ticket for not having a parking permit. Enraged about having to pay a fine, she spoke out against the fees on Instagram.

   Miller is one of many who don’t agree with WO’s parking rules. If students don’t get a pass, they have to pay over twice as much in a parking fine, usually straight out of their own pockets.

   Although the $25 price for the whole year isn’t much, students don’t want to pay for something that they need to do: park their car.

   Students may be slightly happier to learn that the school uses the money for a good cause. “All parking pass money goes to an account. Every three to four years we have to resurface the parking lot which costs $20,000. It’s certainly not something the school uses to make money. It’s made out of asphalt, so it’s something you have to do otherwise it breaks apart. I get why a student would not like to pay and I can certainly empathize with that but we just have no other way to get that money” Reinecke said.

   Students are unaware of the importance of the payment; without paying, West Ottawa might not be able to resurface the lots.

   However, some still don’t believe in paying. “I think it’s really stupid that we have to pay to park at our own school and we already have to pay for our gas and to paint our parking spots,” Jr Ray Mackey said. High school students already have to pay to drive their car to school, and they have to pay once they get there.

   After learning where the money goes, other students saw the importance. “I think it’s a smart idea, but it should be a little bit cheaper,” Sr. Chris Guerrero said. Attending a public school, students need to understand that money is hard to come by, so the school has to make hard decisions to keep the lots acceptable.

   Although buying a parking pass is annoying, the fine is necessary for usable parking lots. Students can take their chances of not buying a pass, but chances are, West Ottawa isn’t getting rid of the fees anytime soon.

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