If you park your car on campus you have undoubtedly heard about the possible changes to the parking lottery, and even if you don’t you must have seen the ‘UR NOT PARKING’ survey sheets scattered around campus.

As of now, the parking lottery is similar to the housing one, where your class rank gives you a better choice of any spot in the student parking areas. Spots go to seniors first, then juniors, sophomores, etc., all of whom must pay $353 dollars for any spot in an on-campus student lot.

The proposed changes would still give seniors first pick of parking spots, but instead of everyone paying a flat rate, the lots are divided into three zones. The first zone of Hill Court and Towers Lots which hold 239 spots, would cost $420 a piece, an increase of $70. The second zone is Wilson North Lot, River Lot and Valentine Lot, 435 spots at the price of $360 each. The last zone is Park Lot South, NSRL Lot and River Road Lot, 160 spaces for $270.

While the Tiered System may have been a good thought at first, this division is ridiculous. For the 435 students who will be parking in the second zone, there is a decrease of eight dollars, which means that there is no real change for 52 percent of students who have cars on campus. All this work and the majority of students won’t notice a change? Then, umm – what’s the point?

Next, for the 239 students who will park in the first zone – the best spots – they will pay an additional $70. Most of these students will be seniors because seniors get first pick, and let’s face it – if you bought a car, pay for insurance, pay for New York gas at an average rate of $2.80 a gallon and pay the $40,000 it costs per year to go to this school, the extra $70 a year you would save isn’t worth a 10 minute longer walk in the brutal Rochester winter.

The last zone which will have only 160 spots, probably given to freshman and other lower classmen who have cars on campus, will see a reduction in fees of eighty dollars. That’s right – only 160 students out of the 834 or 19.1 percent will see a reduction in costs. And this reduction will come only if they park in the worst spots on campus. Meanwhile 52 percent will not see a difference, and 31 percent will have an increase in rates.

That more students will see an increase than decrease in rates is something that is usually left out of the description of the new tiered parking plan when you read about it. Aside from the fact that this new proposal changes nothing for most students with cars on campus, it is impossible to justify increasing rates for more students than we are decreasing them for.

The Students’ Association Constitution says the SA should, “[P]rovide for a unified student voice to influence decisions of the university administration.” The job of the SA is to fight for all students, not just 19.1 percent of them.

After working on a senate committee this year I know how excruciatingly hard it can be to achieve any kind of change at all in administration policy, let alone something meaningful and beneficial to students. It requires countless hours of work and stubborn persistence.

But I am a student first and I am tired of seeing changes that provide no benefit for us. It doesn’t matter how hard you work – if the end result isn’t positive, you are wasting time.

Changes need to be made to the parking options for students on campus, our meters shouldn’t cost twice as much as any where else in Rochester, there should be more spots closer to residential and academic buildings for daytime parking, and the busses should run more frequently and on time. No one can argue that the parking services on campus are good – like ARAMARK, Parking is one of those departments that is indefensible. But, just because we are dissatisfied does not mean that we need to settle for changes that will not help.

We need to adjust the system so that all students benefit, not just one-fifth and not at the expense of other students. On April 10th through the 12th, along with the SA Senate, President and Class Council elections, you will have the option to vote for or against these parking changes. Don’t settle – tell your representatives and the school that you will only approve reforms that have real benefits for the entire student body.

Kirstein can be reached athkistein@campustimes.org.

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