Recent Changes in Parking Policy Creates Controversy


Pro: Annika Kushner

Though some students have voiced complaints about the inconvenience of the new parking system, there is no question that this new policy solves some crucial logistical problems’doing more good than harm.

First of all, there is the problem of the chaos that ensues in the front parking lot after school each day.

Before enactment of the policy, Special Education buses were attempting to safely board their disabled students in the carpool line while other people crossed into the parking lot. Devoted parents coming to pick up their children blocked in students impatient to get to sports practices or go home and start their mountain of homeworka��creating a dangerous situation with the potential to cause a car accident.

Now one of these factors is eliminated. Because the front parking lot is reserved for staff, who get out later, there are fewer cars, fewer people trying to get to their cars, and therefore a decrease in the chances of a car accident. Does it take longer for students to get from the building to their cars? Yes. Does it take longer for them to get out of the parking lot? Yes. But this is a small price to pay for the safety of our students.

Secondly, there is the problem of part-time teachers finding places to park. Students and teachers who start their day at 7:25 a.m. can enter the building through the side and back entrances, but part-time teachers, who arrive later, have to enter through the main doors. These teachers were previously forced to squeeze into the back lot, and walk all the way to the front doors before going to their classrooms.

It makes complete sense for teachers who only teach for two or three periods of the day to have easier access to the front of the schoola��also making life easier for teachers who leave for lunch.

This brings up yet another problem with the old parking system. Parking in the front has made it easy for many students to sneak out for luncha��against school policy. When students are in school, they are the responsibility of the school, and it is hard for administration to keep track of everybody when they leave for lunch without permission. The new policy helps with this problem.

This change in parking has not caused any substantial problems. Principal Billie-Jean Bensen even called it a “non-issue”a��because the only negative consequence is slight inconvenience. The benefits definitely outweigh the cost.

Con: Frances Marks

New student and staff parking arrangements Nov. 4 came as a shock to students since the usual setup had been the same for years. The system has worked out fine in the past, so why change something that works>

The recent change was particularly surprising because the administration did not discuss these new plans with the SGA representatives. The reason for having a student government is so that the faculty has a chance to hear the students’ voice on matters that directly affect students.

“They should have talked to the SGA first because then they would have been able to gauge student opinion,” SGA co-president Betsy Gorman said.

It seems like when the decision was made, the administration completely disregarded student opinion and how this would affect them. Although the long walk from the back lot into the building would be bothersome to anyone, making students make that walk does not solve the problem.

Students should not have to have such inconvenient parking. All student drivers are required to pay $70 per year to park on school property, whereas the teachers do not have to pay for their parking hangtags. Giving students an inconvenient parking spot when they already have to pay so much is not fair.

RHS administration also did not take students’ extracurricular activities into consideration when making the new policy. Students attempt to leave school as soon as they can after the bell rings. However, the cars that are parked in the back are blocked in and cannot leave until the buses leave first. This causes a problem for students who have jobs, sports practice or extracurricular clubs that happen right after school.

“My brother and I are in a rush to get home from school because I usually have work or practice,” Junior Nicole Marinucci said. “I don’t like having to wait for the buses because I would rather be able to leave quickly and safely.”

Teachers do not have this problem because many of them do not leave when the dismissal bell rings. This means they would not normally face the problem of having to wait for the buses to leave.

Instead of designating certain parking spots for teachers and certain ones for students in the front and back parking lots, parking should be on a first come, first serve basis. This way, there would be no reserved spots or unfairness when it comes to faculty and student parking on school property.