Open parking receives mixed feedback

Administration changes parking policy, met with mixed student responses

In past years, the school’s parking spots have been separated by grade, giving seniors priority to the spots near the front. This year, the lot is open to all grades, giving students who come to school early better access to front spots.

Administration was forced to make this change because of budgeting shortages, as the school couldn’t afford to hire as many security supervisors for the parking lot as last year. While in the past a security guard was assigned to ticket those who didn’t park in their designated section, there is no longer someone who can monitor the lot on a regular basis.

“I was cut 5% last year, I was cut another 5% this year, so our budget keeps getting smaller, so do we put dollars in our classrooms or our parking lot?” principal Myron Graber said.

Another reason for the change is the construction. When the construction workers resurfaced the lot this summer, they painted the lines on before administration had a chance to express any need for categorization. It would have cost the school more to repaint the lot, and administrators felt that maintaining the old parking procedure was not a priority.

Emily Zeller

“We weren’t trying to punish anyone or anything, that was not the intent, it was a circumstance of budgetary issues that we had to deal with,” Graber said.

Because the parking procedure is no longer prioritizing upperclassmen, there have been many negative responses from students—especially seniors. Senior Ashlyn Merrill is frustrated with the new policy and feels that open parking imposes on her rights as a senior.

“I’ve waited my due time,” Merrill said. “I have fallen on the ice in the winter, the other kids should have to go through that too.”

Upperclassmen also have concerns about younger students who are less experienced in driving to school.

Emily Zeller

“The freshman suck at parking,” Merrill said.

Although freshman Alexa Beaty enjoys the advantage the new parking policy provides her, she understands the seniors’ complaints.

“They just want their spot because they’ve been waiting four years to get [to park] in the front,” Beaty said.

Sophomore Chaney Finkeldei prefers the new parking–having a zero hour allows her to park near the front. Like most underclassmen, she understands the upperclassmen perspective but feels that open parking is a reasonable procedure.

Emily Zeller

“I feel like it’s not fair to the seniors that thought they were going to have [senior parking], but it’s fair overall,” Finkeldei said.

According to a poll conducted among 56 students, 83.9% said they did not prefer the new parking procedure over the old one, and 76.8% said that it was unfair to the student body as a whole. With six sophomore responses and three freshman responses, the poll was biased towards upperclassmen—specifically seniors. Out of 34 seniors, only three responded saying that the procedure was fair.

“A lot of the people parking in the closer parking are people with zero hours, and then they leave early, which in a way is kind of pointless because it just backs up the traffic even more,” Merrill said.

The poll also shows that 92.9% of students felt that administration did not communicate their reasoning for changing the procedure well enough. An email was sent out about the parking policy, but many students found out from talking to their friends. Upperclassmen felt that the new procedure infringed on their seniority, and the lack of communication added to their frustration. While the new parking takes away from seniority, Graber reminds all students they will benefit from the money saved by making these changes.