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Student leader justifies huge new mandatory fee as required by a ‘socialistic society’

Do you want unlimited Metro rides at the University of Maryland, or not? It doesn’t matter, because college is a “socialistic society,” so you’ll pay either way.

That’s the curious rationalization for a $130 per-semester fee that the university’s Residence Hall Association wants to impose on all on-campus residents.

The Diamondback reports the RHA approved the “Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority anytime ridership resolution” Tuesday night, but according to Transportation Advisory Committee Chairman Matt O’Brien, the resolution is basically a formality:

“The Department of Transportation Services is ready to implement it as soon as possible,” the freshman economics major said. “RHA has already approved the budgets, but the budgets haven’t been moved to the Board of Regents yet, so there’s some time.”

Campus leaders have been pressuring the school since October, when the RHA passed its first resolution, to subsidize Metro fares.

O’Brien’s ambitions aren’t limited to just on-campus residents – he’s pushing for the undergraduate and grad student governments to approve the $130 per-semester fee.

What if you don’t want unlimited rides? Tough luck, he says:

“When you come to college, you pay into a socialistic society,” O’Brien said. “… If you stay in a similar place as someone else and you use 10 times as much water as that person, you don’t pay more money, [and] people aren’t upset about that. You are helping someone else ride the Metro and it’s not like you’re not getting anything out of it.”

Nothing wrong with that logic!

As noted by a fellow senator, the university recently raised the cost of a parking permit by 10.3 percent, and RHA had no problem with that. (And as noted by this author, the university is served exclusively by WMATA’s Red Line, the most overcrowded and sluggish line in the crime-riddled system, so the “unlimited” rides might be a raw deal.)

Read the story.

h/t Campus Reform

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” Previously he led media and public relations at Seattle’s Discovery Institute, a free-market think tank. Greg is developing a Web series about a college newspaper, COPY, whose pilot episode was a semifinalist in the TV category for the Scriptapalooza competition in 2012. He graduated in 2001 with a B.A. from Seattle Pacific University, where he co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon.

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