By Brittany Wilson (Whetstone Staff Writer)
It was embarrassing.
During an Open House in March, several potential students asked Wesley student ambassadors why the parking fee at Wesley was $100 per semester.
The ambassadors said it was only $50 per year. No, it isn’t, the prospective students responded.
During a meeting with President William Johnston that helped resolve the student fee issue, students Savannah Durham and Cory Brown were surprised to find that the Open House students were right: parking and registration fees had been listed as $100 per semester on a “Schedule of Charges 2015-2016” the president handed out.
“Students were upset when they were first informed, because no one knew anything about it,” Durham said.
During the meeting, Johnston promised he would find out why the fee had risen.
Later that week, Wesley College administration reassured students the difference listed on the schedule of charges had been an error, and parking and registration fees will not increase.
Durham, SGA vice president and student ambassador, said she did not “officially” find out about the supposed increase until the meeting with Johnston.
“He brought a print-out of the Tuition and Fees for next semester,” she said. “Vehicle registration was listed at the bottom (at $100). Cory Brown noticed the increase and brought it up at the end of the meeting.”
Three days after the meeting, Johnston sent an email to student leaders.
“The sheet listing charges that I passed out to you was incorrect,” the email read. “The parking registration fee remains the same next year as it was this year.”
Durham said she believes the increase was just a typo.
“I think that if the administration had agreed to raise it and then lower it again, it would have taken much longer for the President to ensure us that it was just a mistake,” she said.
Cheyenne Lazarus, vice president of Wesley’s Student Activities Board, who was also present at the meeting, said she was more skeptical of the administration’s initial motives.
“I was confused because why would they raise the fee when [so many people complain] that there’s no parking on campus,” she said. “I think they lowered it to $50 again because they got caught and they didn’t want people to get on their case about it. So they just made it seem like it was a typo.”