Parking problems plague students

By Abby Bien

I admit it; I have parked my car in a staff spot more than a few times this year. But I don’t park there because I don’t want to park in an open student spot, I do it because there are always multiple staff spots empty and no student spots available when I arrive at school.

When students who get to school at around 7:55 or later pull into the parking lot, they are faced with a dilemma: do they park in one of the consistently empty staff spots and risk getting in trouble by the safety officer, or do they park on Meridian and risk getting a tardy because of having to walk up the Grant Street hill? It seems to be a lose-lose situation to me, and when I talked to Assistant Principal Mr. Slauter about the lack of student spots before school, he suggested that we late risers push our schedule forward a few minutes so that we arrive at school earlier, and therefore, have a guaranteed spot.

Although I agree that I could get out of bed earlier, I don’t think that we should be getting in trouble for something that the students can’t change: the ratio of student to staff spots. If everyone started waking up earlier and the last student driving into the lot got here at 7:45, as opposed to their usual 8:03, they would still not have a spot open for them, despite waking earlier.

One of the most frustrating things about our parking lot is that there are consistently empty staff spots. Mr. Slauter stated that the ratio is one staff to every three students, which it turns out isn’t true. I went to the lot and personally counted every spot and found that around 59% of the spots are for students, which is 7% less than what I was told.

I propose that the students get that 7%–about 13 spots–added to their part of the lot. That amount might not seem like much, but I think that if students were given those thirteen spots that are supposedly already ours according to administration, it would make a big difference during the student rush to school in the morning.

When I brought up the empty staff spots to Mr. Slauter, he said that those were for part-time teachers, special needs assistants, substitutes, and parents. Although I think that that is a valid point, I’m not sure that this very specific group of people needs all of the available spots that they are given.

When I counted the spots at the end of lunch, eight staff spots were empty, and at least three other staff spots were being occupied by students. Even if all of the designated people parked everyday in the staff spots, I’m positive all the spots would never be full.

Also, if students can’t park in staff without a permit, why can parents? They have five available visitors’ spots to park in, and on the day that I counted, only two were occupied, one with a student’s car.

Another issue is the consistency in which the spots are checked. I think that if the school checks spots in the morning, they should check them after lunch too, because a lot of people get punished for parking in staff when plenty other students get away with it, which isn’t fair. If one student gets punished, every student should.

An anonymous source has witnessed student spots taken by staff; this doesn’t seem right. If the school if going to give violations to students for being in staff, they need to give them to staff for being in student too, especially since staff already has plenty of spots available to them.

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