KSU levies $10 fee for parking at graduation ceremonies
by Rachel Miller
May 25, 2013 12:00 AM | 4126 views | 17 17 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNESAW — Kennesaw State University charged a $10 parking fee for high school graduation ceremonies on its campus this week, leading to sticker shock for some family members of the graduates.

KSU played host to eight of the 16 Cobb County graduations starting Thursday and running through this afternoon, with approximately 30,000 attendees, not including graduates, according to Doug Goodwin of the Cobb County School District.

If each car were to bring three people, the university has the potential to collect more than $100,000 in parking fees just from high school graduations this week.

On top of the parking fees KSU will take in, Goodwin said the school district paid $18,000 to rent the space at KSU over a four-day period, including the time for setup and breakdown.

Students are given free tickets for family and friends for the ceremonies at the KSU Convocation Center, which can hold 4,260 people.

Marietta resident Tom Edwards was alerted about the cost in a package of tickets for his grandson’s Harrison High School graduation ceremony to take place this morning.

Edwards said he was upset about “the outrageous parking charge,” and added that there are no other options.

“The $10 was a little bit overboard,” Edwards said. He said he felt $5 would be reasonable to cover parking attendant costs.

Tammy DeMel, a spokeswoman for KSU, said the funds “go to ensure the safety of our patrons and helps offset the cost of security (police and traffic control) as well as custodial/maintenance services. This is a parking fee the university charges for all large events, not only Cobb County graduation patrons.”

The Department of Parking and Transportation for KSU arranges access to parking facilities prior to an event, which includes a $10 per vehicle fee if there will be more than 500 vehicles, according to the website https://web.kennesaw.edu/

auxiliaryservices.

Comments
(17)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Informed Anti-Cynic
|
June 15, 2013
I find it interesting that so many are so quick to throw stones here, but have no clue what is going on. Allow me to provide a quick breakdown:

The CCSD payed $18,000 to use a venue for eight graduations. With a combined total of 30,000 attendees, this cost would be $0.60 per person. If you think sixty cents is enough to cover the cost of hosting eight graduations, perhaps you need to make a trip to KSU and audit a couple business classes. It sounds like it may do you some good. Perhaps a better example would be the combined $118,000. For 30,000 attendees, that cost is about $3.93 per person.

For those of you complaining that KSU is funded by your tax dollars: you're right, it is. And it's also funded by mine. None of those dollars, though, are allowed to be used for parking infrastructure or operations. The great State of Georgia has made that expressly illegal. *shocker*

And to those complaining they didn't see "$100,000 worth of security" at the graduation, you each win the award for Overgeneralization of the Year. Now stop gloating and ask yourself these questions: Were there police present? Were there parking attendants? Was there golf cart transportation provided to assist handicapped attendees? Was anyone manning intersections and directing traffic? Did multiple custodial staff clean the building after each of the eight separate graduations to ensure the confetti left over from your precious angel's walk across the stage wasn't there for the next group? The answer to each of these questions is an absolute "yes."

I'm sorry the university couldn't provide you free parking, but it's not a Walmart (or Ann Taylor Loft, for you folks over in East Cobb). Perhaps doing your research before spouting off an uninformed post would have done you some good. If you're angry, call your State Representative. But don't blame KSU.
Informed Anti-Cynic
|
June 15, 2013
I find it interesting that so many are so quick to throw stones here, but have no clue what is going on. Allow me to provide a quick breakdown:

The CCSD payed $18,000 to use a venue for eight graduations. With a combined total of 30,000 attendees, this cost would be $0.60 per person. If you think sixty cents is enough to cover the cost of hosting eight graduations, perhaps you need to make a trip to KSU and audit a couple business classes. It sounds like it may do you some good. Perhaps a better example would be the combined $118,000. For 30,000 attendees, that cost is about $3.93 per person.

For those of you complaining that KSU is funded by your tax dollars: you're right, it is. And it's also funded by mine. None of those dollars, though, are allowed to be used for parking infrastructure or operations. The great State of Georgia has made that expressly illegal. *shocker*

And to those complaining they didn't see "$100,000 worth of security" at the graduation, you each win the award for Overgeneralization of the Year. Now stop gloating and ask yourself these questions: Were there police present? Were there parking attendants? Was there golf cart transportation provided to assist handicapped attendees? Was anyone manning intersections and directing traffic? Did multiple custodial staff clean the building after each of the eight separate graduations to ensure the confetti left over from your precious angel's walk across the stage wasn't there for the next group? The answer to each of these questions is an absolute "yes."

I'm sorry the university couldn't provide you free parking, but it's not a Walmart (or Ann Taylor Loft, for you folks over in East Cobb). Perhaps doing your research before spouting off an uninformed post would have done you some good. If you're angry, call your State Representative. But don't blame KSU.
Informed Anti-Cynic
|
June 15, 2013
It's interesting to me to read the comments of outraged citizens, crying foul about a $10 parking charge that, based on the information in the story and the admission of multiple attendees, was known about ahead of time. Let me break down a couple arguments presented by you fine tax-paying do-gooders here:

"KSU is a public institution and we pay taxes!"

Yes, this is correct. We pay taxes that fund higher education. In Georgia, however, these taxes do not go to support certain parts (e.g. parking decks, parking lots, parking staff, housing, etc.) of a university. In fact, it's illegal in Georgia for any state funds to be used for this purpose. So your precious tax dollars aren't as far-reaching as you've been led to believe. *shocker*

"I didn't see $100,000 worth of security there."

You have won the award for overgeneralization of the year. The statement from KSU said the parking fee went to support security, parking, custodial and maintenance services. I can assure you there were police present. I'm sorry the officer couldn't break away from protecting and/or serving to take time to guard your individual seats, but they were there. Also, did you see traffic signs when you arrived to campus? Were there officers directing traffic or making sure you weren't run over in an intersection? Were golf cart transport services available to disabled attendees to allow them to get from their car to the front door without walking? Did someone clean the building after you threw confetti everywhere while your child walked across the stage (confetti you most certainly didn't clean yourself)? The answer to each of these questions is "yes." Cobb County was charged $18,000 and the $10 parking fees helped supplement the real cost. Do you honestly think it only costs $18,000 to host eight high school graduations? (With 30,000 attendees, that's $0.60 each.) If you think sixty cents per person will cover what it takes to host 30,000 people for eight events, you may want to pay a visit to KSU yourself and audit a business class or two. Trust me, it'll do you good.

Here's the bottom line: KSU isn't a Walmart (or Ann Taylor Loft, for you fine East Cobb folk). It can't provide free parking because parking is expensive and state funds don't cover that type of thing. (I forgot to mention... your great State of Georgia has actually made it illegal for your tax dollars to be used to support parking costs at universities in any way.) So if you're THAT angry at a $10 parking charge, do some research, call your State Representative to complain, and quit making ridiculous comparisons between a university and "the Arabs." And for the sake of humanity, quit writing in the paper about things you don't understand.
mmmanother
|
May 27, 2013
Our Family had to take 4 cars to the ceremony. It is also absurd making a school at I-285 go all the way up to Kennesaw on the Friday before a Holiday weekend between 5-6. Why couldn't have Campbell just rented out The Cobb Energy Center, live Fulton County's Ridgeview High School did that Morning. It is also in Walking distance to the Bus. It is right next door to Campbell's district. Some of the Apartment dwellers from the Cumberland Mall area could have walked.

There was no security inside the venue. I know, I had the Ghetto behind me trying to save a whole row. They would not let an elderly black woman in to sit down and were ready to beat her up. Our former nanny a black women, was so upset. She went to try to get security, but could not find any. She found some usher, who told them they could not hold seats, they ignored him. It was awful.

An awful overpriced venue. With the AV system going out mid ceremony.

But at least we weren't stuck in some Christian Church. We skipped the Bachalurate but then we didn't get the announcement until the day of. They didn't bother to invite, any Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist speakers.
reply
|
May 26, 2013
People pay taxs, pay for schools all these years, plus is the future of this country, and cannot go watch there kids graduate one day in there life time without paying to park. (unbelieveable so sad.
reply
|
May 26, 2013
These are tax paying citizens .They paid schools taxes,and are paying for the future of this country, and for one day cannot get any consideration.
Budget issues
|
May 26, 2013
CCSD is furloughing employees and cutting our children's instructional days down again next year, yet they pay $18,000 for four schools to graduate at the convocation center. Really? Last I checked they all have stadiums and gyms that can accommodate graduation ceremonies. KSU charged $10 per car because they needed security. Really? I didn't see any security that appeared to be worth $ 100,000! What a joke!
KSU making $$
|
May 25, 2013
That is outrageous. Five dollars would perhaps be OK - $10 - not.

Nobiggie
|
May 25, 2013
Assuming the families were told about this before they got to KSU - this is a non-issue. The high schools do not have ample parking or space to accommodate these graduating classes - so we have to go somewhere.... People pay $10 or higher to go to a Braves game. A high school graduation seems like it would be worth that.
The Kid
|
May 25, 2013
And?
Mad Momma
|
May 25, 2013
I was outraged when my son graduated in 2010, but we knew about ahead of time and carpooled. The students have to be there early so some families have 2 cars there. I don't think they should be able to get both fees, only charge the $18,000 or the $10 per car. This is a state college, not a private school.
Tom Edwards, VICTIM
|
May 25, 2013
Poor Tom Edwards says d he was upset about “the outrageous parking charge,” and added that there are no other options.

Um. Wahhh? There are multiple other choices.

1- Don't live somewhere you have to drive from to go anywhere

2- Drive to the bus transfer station and use one of the MULTIPLE CCT routes that go to Kennesaw

3- Skip the ceremony. Attendance is not mandatory. If you don't go, you still get the diploma and you also get a free day and save some money

So quit whining, Mr. Tom. You signed up for this life because, um, "The schools are better" (Cobb schools are at the very top of the very bottom of their Georgia barrel, after all) or "It's safer" (despite all the spousicide and car related injuries and fatalities) or whatever lies you tell yourself.

You may in fact be a victim, Tim, but I feel like you are a victim of self delusion and denial.

Two words: S-ck it up.
Cobb Car Extortion
|
May 25, 2013
Kennesaw College has figured out what the Arabs have known for years: Taking money from people who are wholly dependent on cars is easier than taking candy from a stranger. Congrats to the school on running a shrewd graduation operation.

Why does Cobb allow the parking lot and booting thugs to keep taking our money at will? Why won't Tim Lee and his buddies build commuter rail we can use for going places? We have existing tracks through the downtowns of Vinings Smyrna Marietta and Acworth but we pretend I-75 is the ONLY way! CSX may own the tracks, but they could just as easily use tracks that go around the city if only somebody would build them.

THink about it.. Build some rural railroad tracks at a ridiculously low cost since it's rural, and then suddenly we have fanatastic commuter rail from all the northside suburb cities into the Cubmerland/Galleria business district,the Vinings business district, and downtown Atlanta!

You know who doesn't want that? DUNWOODY AND BUCKHEAD. And they will stir the pro-car pot in Cobb County as fast as they can for as long as people keep buying it. So yeah, let's build a googlebillion dollar toll road up the middle of I-75 instead because we are geniuses here in Cobb County Georgia, epicenter of self important bad traffic, aren't we!!
Just Wait
|
May 25, 2013
Might as well get the kids used to all the extra fees and charges they will find in college.
Be Careful
|
May 25, 2013
So $10 is to much to park?

How much did you spend on senior pictures?

How much did you spend on graduation presents?

How much did you spend on a celebratory lunch or dinner after the ceremony?

And you're going to complain about a parking fee?

Get real.
East Cobb
|
May 25, 2013
The money does not go the staff and faculty that is for sure. Get use to it parents, the fees in at college are greater than the tution. Some one has to pay for the new footbal team.
Angry Taxpayer
|
May 25, 2013
WOW!!!! Is KSU a state funded school....paid for by let me think........TAXPAYERS! The fleecing continues....
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides