USM students protest parking fees

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - An online protest using Facebook has been organized by group of University of Southern Mississippi students calling themselves "Students Against the Parking Decal Hike."

They are complaining about the increase in parking prices for students, an increase designed to raise money to build a new garage on USM's campus.

The Facebook group, which boosts nearly 1,100 members, is opposed to the $85-a-year hike for students to park on campus.

Currently, students pay $50-a-year, but in order to fund the $14 million parking garage, students will pay $135-a-year beginning in the fall.

Faculty and staff members will also see an increase, but not until the following year.

University Officials said the increase will be based on the employees salary. Employees who make under $24,000 a year will see an increase of $31 dollars a year, and those who make over $24,000 will pay $85 dollars.

The 1,200 space parking garage is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010.