By Jamie Lewis (‘19) and Jillian Seliger-Braun (‘19)
As the administration revises the parking rules, students and faculty continue to grapple with its effects. Starting in the second semester of the 2017 - 2018 school year, sections of the parking lot became chained off with a teacher posted at the one entrance left open. Until this year, however, parking spots remained unnumbered and unassigned.
New changes in the 2018 - 2019 school year include stricter enforcement of the current policies and designated student parking. Parking lot violations carry the threat of in-school suspension, loss of prom, and loss of graduation. Juniors caught parking on school grounds without permission may be ineligible for parking passes the following year.
Paraprofessional Mr. Darius Gilliam, commonly known by his first name, is tasked with supervising the school parking lot in the morning.
Regarding his thoughts on the situation, Mr. Gilliam asserted that “having the new policies [are] making [his] job easier.”
He believes the implementation of new rules occurred as a result of excessive unpermitted parking and the use of false parking passes.
Grade 12 Dean, Mrs. Nancy Ducko-Sweeney, formulated and implemented many of the parking regulations.
She explained her purpose behind the creation of new rules saying, “It’s really to help the seniors because it’s a senior privilege. Parking is a privilege. This way all the seniors who want to park here can park here. It’s not fair to the seniors to have juniors come and start parking and taking their spots.”
Mrs. Ducko-Sweeney maintains that allocated spots preserve student parking as a senior privilege, prohibited from junior use.
While some teachers may openly support the changes, many students are hesitant to follow.
Senior Antonio Rios said, “I think the school parking rules are confusing and bad. I have experienced people parking in the wrong spot and then preventing people from finding parking spots.”
In his opinion, the abolition of allocated parking would prevent a myriad of tardiness among students.
In the occurrence of a stolen parking spot, students are required to trek across the lot and report it to a teacher before heading to class. This task routinely results in seniors missing the second bell of the morning. At 7:29 AM, students are forced to walk from the athletic entrance to the main entrance, as the back doors are locked after the bell.
Hiking around the school causes everyone to arrive later to class than they otherwise would if the doors remained open. For this reason, senior Josh Brown has created a petition urging staff to keep the doors unlocked for an additional five minutes.
A multitude of other students have qualms with the new rules as well, including senior Janise Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said of her friends, “They all hate it. No one likes it. My friends all tell me about how much they don’t like it.”
While understanding the honest intentions of the new changes, Rodriguez doubts its pragmatic effectiveness of creating a safer, smoother parking lot.
Administrators responded to observable problems in the school parking lot by implementing additional rules in the new academic year. However, the changes have proven themselves to be deeply unpopular among many senior drivers.