Arizona Daily Wildcat February 23, 1998
Free parking for students. More police patrolling the campus at night. Commercial franchises paying for Memorial Student Union renovations.
Facing primary elections tomorrow and generals a week away, hopeful ASUA candidates are stepping up promises like these to draw student votes, but many of the candidates' "bright ideas" may be impossible fantasies.
Associated Students President Gilbert Davidson said candidates need to research their plans thoroughly to determine whether the ideas can ever get off the ground.
Senate candidate Travis Klein's promise of free parking is one that will clearly never happen, said Marlis Davis, director of University of Arizona Parking and Transportation Services.
"I can guarantee that will never come true," she said.
The revenue generated from parking tickets and lot permits go toward paying off loans owed on garages, some built as long as 10 years ago, Davis said.
"It costs us quite a bit of money to pay for the garages - close to $2 million," she said.
If parking was free, the administration would be forced to foot the nearly $5 million required for garage upkeep and the subsidizing of low-cost bus passes, Davis said.
"What he may not know is we're self-supporting," she said. "The whole system runs on the money we intake."
Davis added that even if free parking were possible, the money would still come out of students' pockets in the form of increased tuition - for all students, whether they park on campus or not.
"They might want to talk to the Department of Parking and Transportation before they make that promise," she said.
Klein said he had not contacted Davis and did not intend to.
"That would be a waste of time because I think the whole department should be eliminated," he said. "She's just protecting her own ass."