Students on the ‘suitcase’ campus unpack

At 16, many teenagers are anxious to get their driver’s license and take that step towards independence. By many at this point the privilege of driving is viewed as a form of freedom; a rite of passage that teenagers are eager to take on. With oil and gas prices steadily increasing, there is no wonder why driving has turned into a frustrating hassle of mass proportion.

Students and faculty alike are being affected by the increase. Local prices at the pump in Huntsville ranged from $2.67 per gallon at Citgo to $2.81 per gallon (regular unleaded) at Shell as of Wednesday afternoon.

“It affects me in a big way because I commute,” said Leslie Suggs, “Alcalde” editor. “It’s like getting ripped off everyday. The worst part is no one has really offered an explanation as to why prices are going up.” She also added that with the prices being so high, it makes you think about getting more done when you’re out.

“You end up having to shop around to find the best price just to save a couple of cents, which doesn’t make a big difference.”

Junior elementary education student Karis Kinnard admitted that she would go home more often if prices were lower.

“Although I stay close to the campus, I drive home to the southwest Houston once a month, so gas prices affected me.”

“I used to go home to Houston every weekend,” said freshmen psychology major Brittany Lee. “Now I only go home once a month. I never used to even worry about gas but now it is getting really expensive.”

Senior journalism student Alex Hickman said that since her car gets pretty good gas mileage, she lives close to campus, and she does not go home on weekends, so she feels she really is not affected by the price increases.

Other than confining oneself to one’s home to avoid driving, other alternatives are to car pools. Catching a ride with someone who is going near the same place you are helps out both parties.

“I get rides from my roommate and help him out

with gas money,” said sophomore finance student James Buccieri.

According to fueleconomy.gov, gas prices in Texas have risen nearly 13 cents in the past week and prices are almost 54 cents higher now than they were last April. The national average is reportedly up nine cents in the past week and 40 cents from a year ago. The future is not looking much brighter for drivers. As gas prices are predicted to increase this summer, this is sure to affect some students’ summer plans.

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