Fueling Around: Students Feel Pinch as Holiday Travel
By Leslie Gober
JSU News Bureau
prices have declined in recent weeks, the post-Hurricane Katrina price-per-gallon
continues to take a bite out of students' budgets, especially as the
holiday travel season approaches.
Jacksonville State University students and employees say they are continually
forced to come up with more creative solutions to deal with the cost
Katrina, gas prices rose as high as $3 per gallon locally. Students
began to conserve by driving less, riding bikes, and walking to classes.
Some students said recently they are paying between $50 and $100 a month
extra, depending on whether they commute. Some said they could not afford
to drive their cars at all.
Now that gas prices
are slowly inching downward, students are feeling some relief, but everyone
interviewed for this story expressed a desire that prices return to
"I can't go anywhere
because of the prices," said Cody Hale of White Plains, a sophomore
majoring in communication.
Formerly an avid golfer,
Hale said he has given up traveling to pursue his hobby and can
no longer afford to
go on dates because of the approximately $60 extra he must find in his
budget for fuel.
which included testimony from oil company executives, "were more of
a publicity event to give citizens a false sense of security," said
Hale. "Congress has expressed no plans of action beyond simple media
interviews to get constituents off their backs."
Kim Wells, music department
secretary, said, "I have been planning my appointments more efficiently
to save on mileage, and I've been combining my errands."
Mrs. Wells, of Alexandria,
said it used to cost her $12 to $15 dollars per week to drive to work,
but now she figures it costs $120 dollars per month.
"I am glad that our
federal government is talking about taking a stand against the oil companies
who raised the prices of gasoline excessively during Hurricane Katrina,"
said Wells. "Hardworking middle class Americans struggle enough as it
is to try to make ends meet."
Erin Robertson of
Piedmont, a junior majoring in communication, said, "It is more expensive
to visit friends in Georgia."
Robertson said she
felt it was constructive that Congress was asking oil companies to explain
their high profits, but she also thought the government was using the
hearings as a way to look better following the FEMA controversy.
"A set price on gasoline
would be great. But I just do not think that it will
ever happen," said
Robertson. "As long as the government makes sure that the companies
are charging fair prices, that is all we can ask for. I think it would
be great if the gasoline companies were forced to donate all the money
they made off raising prices to Hurricane Katrina relief organizations."
As painful as it is
for some, JSU students and faculty seem to be slowly adjusting to the
higher prices while hoping for a "return to normal."
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.