A Day in the Life
April 1, 2009
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Written by Ashley Barton
It’s a typical day as a commuter student. I wake up two and a half hours before my first class at 9:25. Get ready, inhale breakfast, and then walk out to my car for a 40-minute drive, making sure to leave an extra half hour to find parking. I get to school and drive around campus three times. There are no spots, even though I’m early. Then I park on Campbell Avenue, a public street, and walk to class only to come back to a UNH Campus Police officer ticketing my car. Even the police officer agrees that the situation is out of control, but he’s just doing his job. Then I drive an hour to the part-time job that helps me fund my education, fuming all the way.
I’m a graduating senior and instead of counting down the days to graduation, I’m calculating how many fines I will probably rack up before the end of the semester. Instead of feeling nostalgic and not wanting to leave, I can’t wait to go.
I pay $175 for a parking spot that doesn’t exist, and then pay an extra fine for not taking up the spot I’m entitled to. It’s a bit uncalled for that I and many other commuters are being punished for a problem that the university created. It’s just plain cruel. I understand that the university is growing, but I’m not asking for a miracle, only a bit of leniency. I also understand that the university is trying to promote a greener aesthetic, but taking buses or carpooling although more efficient is not necessarily conducive to everyone’s schedule.
All I want to do is go to class, which I pay $26,000 a year to do, and I should be able to do so without being distracted by a $20 ticket looming in the distance. We pay enough to come here. A college is a business and we are the customers. It’s time we started being treated like clients, not children. The higher education that is supposed to open our eyes to possibility and opportunity is sending a very negative message: you’re screwed.