Last semester, the city of Murray moved forward with a decision requiring Murray State students to purchase city stickers for their vehicles. The cost associated with buying a city sticker came as a surprise to many students who now had to pay for another “parking permit” on top of what they already pay to be able to park on campus – and with a hefty fine for non-compliance.
Enforcement has officially started and lacking a city sticker will now earn students a fine double the price of the sticker itself. Unfortunately, most students are unaware of this change and of the new requirement to purchase city stickers, something that isn’t exactly surprising, given the lack of communication to students on the part of both Murray State and the city of Murray.
A lack of communication is putting it lightly. University officials have done next to nothing to inform students that they will be required to purchase city stickers, nor has the city. In the case of the latter, it’s almost as if the city is betting on students not buying city stickers. This would allow them to cash in on the fines that come with students not having a city sticker and then subsequently having to purchase one.
The immense amount of cynicism, if that is the case on the part of city officials, is disheartening. It’s as if the student body is little more than a sponge from which to extract cash from already cash-strapped students to solve the city’s budget problems.
We as students have to take some of the responsibility for this even being an issue. Murray State students were made aware of this by The News repeatedly last semester.
In spite of warnings that we would have to pay more to park in Murray, students did nothing, absolutely nothing, to protest. Students didn’t demonstrate. Students didn’t write angry editorials, contact their city councilors – they simply sat back and watched as all this happened.
This is why politics matter. If you aren’t engaged, ultimately you end up getting run over by the people who are. If students want to be heard, they need to act like it.
The old adage goes “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” – students don’t have a right to complain about what’s going on in city hall if they won’t even take the time to register to vote in Murray and cast their ballots in November.
That’s what we want to encourage here on campus. Students should get registered to vote here and vote for and support candidates who stand up for their interests. Don’t see a candidate that you like on the ballot? Run yourself. Democracy is not a spectator sport – it’s a game of tag, and we’re tagging you “it.”
The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.