As students make their way back into full-time in-person classes, the search for parking spaces is one like never before. The hassle of getting to school on time, while still considering the fact that parking spaces are pretty much completely taken up, is a thought that runs through my mind every day.
Finding a parking spot among our peers shouldn’t be a competition; the second someone turns into the senior lot they should easily be able to notice an open space. Instead, I’ve noticed students squeezing into tight spaces and some even sacrificing a warning ticket by parking in the staff lot because every spot provided is in use.
“The teacher lot is always empty, and I’m always really tempted to park there, “ senior Isabella Denk said.
We pay $175 for a guaranteed spot at the school, yet some have had to ask their parents or friends for a ride to school, park in the Z-lot or run their eyes through the lot just to end up grabbing a tardy slip on their way into school. If we’re paying money for a parking pass, it should be guaranteed that we are able to spot an open space as soon as we get to school, right?
Last year, both juniors and seniors were given priorities when it came to parking passes. Dean of Students Bryan Heap explains how those guidelines have changed now that priorities for seniors have returned back to the way they used to be before COVID-19.
“We were able to issue double the parking because we could then sell the whole lot out. 250 spots to the A students, and then another 250 spots to the B students…so all and all there were about 500 parking passes issued. But then this year, we’re back to the traditional roughly 250 or 270 spaces managed through the office, primarily seniors,” Heap said.
Some juniors who attended school last year during the hybrid schedule had a parking pass, but considering A students would stay for one half of the day and B students would stay for the other half, finding a parking spot was never a moment of frustration for anyone. Now that the parking spots have been cut by half since last year with everyone full-time in-person, we find ourselves competing against one another on a daily basis.
Some students who received a parking pass this year have also never been used to the traffic at the school and around the school. Traffic patterns are different everyday, but coming late before the bell shouldn’t determine whether you’ll find a parking spot or not. There are many outside factors that also contribute to why students arrive later than usual, but that moment of frustration before school starts is the last thing that students should worry about.
Scrambling in the parking lot and seeing all those open spaces is something that enrages students, including myself. The temptation to park there is real, yet we continue to spin circles around the lot because that’s what we’re clearly “supposed to be doing”.