Exorbitant Rates Give Rise To Students" ComplaintsKim Ji-sun (Health Education, 4) lives in Incheon. Every morning, Kim is caught in the dilemma. It takes about two hours to get to school by subway, but if Kim drives to school, half the time is saved. What stops her from taking her car to school is the high cost of parking. The thought of having to pay over 25,000 won to park on school grounds for four hours gives her the chills.
This dilemma is shared by many Ewhaians. Currently, the school"s parking rate for non-faculty members, including undergraduate and graduate students, is 2,000 won for the first 30 minutes and 700 won for every additional ten minutes. After two hours, the cost rises to 1,400 won for every additional ten minutes.
At the current rate, parking on school grounds for eight hours costs 58,700 won. "The high parking rate tells you that actually student parking is forbidden at Ewha. It is a common sense, no one can afford that much money to park on school grounds every day," says Hwang Jun-kyung (Division of Humanities and Foreign Languages & Literature, 1).
However, such complaints are limited to students. The school"s current parking system provides privileges to faculty members for 60,000 won per semester. The university also offers parking permits for 100,000 won per semester to the parents of children who go to Ewha Kindergarten. Lee Youn-kyung (Law, 3) says, "A student in a doctoral course pays 120,000 won for one semester of parking. How come the parents of kids in Ewha Kindergarten pay less money than a student? It"s simply unreasonable."
Parking in a private parking lot in the Shinchon area costs 15,000 won per day, which is about one fourth of Ewha"s rate. Kim Kang-ho , the owner of Hongjo Parking Lot in Shinchon, says, "We have the same parking rate for visitors as Ewha. But for students and residents, we cut the rates to 170,000 won per month and 15,000 won for full day parking. Since the rent is high in Shinchon, the area lacks parking space. And people need places to park their cars. As a result, the parking rate goes up."
Due to the high parking rate, illegal parking near Ewha Elementary School by students is frequent. "Illegal parking can result in a fine of 40,000 won and the car can be towed," comments Kim Yoon-mi of the Seodaemun-gu Office. "We are scheduled to do the rounds at least once a week. But there are so many illegally parked cars around the area that we cannot always ticket them all," she adds.
Other schools provide more convenience to student drivers. Seoul Women"s University has its own "Students Only" parking lot in front of its main gate, and it costs a student only 1,500 won per day. Ajou University allows students to park for 35,000 won per semester.
Nevertheless, there seem to be no changes planned at Ewha. The school is building new parking lots near the main gate. However, they will not be used for students. Na Gwang-shik of the Office of General Administration says, "Legally, more spaces for parking are needed since cars frequently come in for the construction on campus. But, currently, we have no plans for student parking." He adds, "The parking fee for students can be waived only when there is a special occasion such as a recital or an exhibition."
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