New parking spot arrangements at WHS affect various students in many ways

Weston+High+School+parking+lot+filled+with+students%27+cars.+%0A

Molly Ross

Weston High School parking lot filled with students’ cars.

Molly Ross, Staff Writer

For the past few years, WHS has struggled with finding a way to efficiently allow as many students as possible to be able to park at school, considering the significant lack of parking spaces in the existing lot. WHS has recently assigned parking spots to a select group of eleventh-grade students, and provided spots for all twelfth-grade students. While some may see the process of how these spots have been assigned as fair, a few students disagree with the decisions and policies made to assign these available spots.   

The spots have been assigned differently over the past year because of the coronavirus, which forced a hybrid attendance schedule. All students with licences were able to drive and park until mid-March when we moved from the hybrid to the all-in school model.

“They assigned the spots to seniors first, then they randomly assigned the rest of the spots to juniors using a lottery system,” senior class president Nate Icke stated. “I personally didn’t think the parking lot was that big of an issue before they started limiting it, but if it is necessary to limit it, I believe this is a pretty fair way to do it.”

The school administration provided an explanation that parking spots were randomly assigned; however, according to many students who provided their input on the process, they identified many inconsistencies about how the school actually decided who “needs” the parking spots the most.

“From what I heard, the parking spots were random, but I know that they prioritized people for certain reasons, including people with more siblings that go to the middle and elementary schools,” junior Reed VanOgtrop stated. 

Students have acknowledged that the selection wasn’t so random, but it was made that way for a reason to benefit those who need it.  

“Kids with conflicts were prioritized despite mentions of a random selection. For those who did receive a parking spot, a common denominator under the majority was divorced parents,” junior Reese Connelly said. “I definitely made sure to explain my family situation among other transportation conflicts when I filled out my parking application, and I received a parking spot. I think some people who didn’t receive them needed them. But “need” is subjective, so it’s tricky.”

Although it may be hard to acknowledge, students still considered the selection fair whether they received a spot or not.

“I personally do think it is fair even though it is frustrating. We found out about this change last year, so they had time to prepare, and juniors were allowed to drive to school most of the year anyway,” Icke stated. “I definitely feel for the juniors who got shut out, as that was me last year.”

At the end of the day, students are left with a more valuable lesson to help their peers in their community by carpooling and giving rides when needed to classmates, who unfortunately didn’t receive a spot. Although the process may have left many Juniors without a parking spot, they only have to wait until May 14, when the Seniors finally finish their school year and vacate their assigned spots and open them up for all of these newly eligible drivers. 

“I love having a parking spot because it’s both a privilege and a freedom. I drive my friends to school to help sort out the parking spot conflicts too,” Connelly said. “I am very lucky. I would definitely be upset if I didn’t get a spot.”