Parking situation sparks feud between upperclassmen

Molly Benson

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Photo by Lindsay Rothenstien

A student parks their car outside of a parking space. Due to the overwhelming amount of juniors who need parking spaces without parking passes, students have resorted to alternative spaces.

Coming into senior year, there are many advantages that underclassmen don’t have. One of those advantages is parking in the designated school lots. Seniors are allowed to park in the lot if they have a parking permit – which costs $37.50 per semester. The privilege is limited to mostly seniors, except for special circumstances. After the seniors leave at the end of May, many juniors will be able to park. Even with these rules, there have been many issues with parking this year.

Juniors who don’t have permits will park in the lot when they get to school instead of the alternative of parking near Davis Library. The library is pretty much across the street from the lot, but students have to cross two lanes of traffic to enter school grounds.

For juniors, this situation has worsened due to the extraordinary measures seniors have taken to scare them out of the lot. One junior, who wishes to remain anonymous, has parked in the lot without a permit, and when returning to her car later, discovered that her car windows were plagued with marker. The writing ended up actually staining some car fabric due to the snowy conditions causing the ink to drip.  The student had to pay to get the fabric powder washed.

“I think the school is doing a terrible job managing the situation and that they need to be more accommodating to juniors that have to stay late because crossing Democracy during rush hour is not safe,” the student stated.

There are some juniors who could be eligible for accommodations, and it would solve the drama going on if there was an option for juniors to have permits.

Since so many seniors parked in the lot last year as juniors; taking the case to extremes is not the right thing to do. There’s a simple way to take a picture of a license plate of an illegally parked car and send it to security, instead of writing on someone else’s property. That doesn’t mean juniors should park in the lot if they don’t have a permit, but seniors should be responsible enough to handle this situation with a little more maturity.

Also, more juniors with accommodations should be allowed to have permits. At other MCPS schools such as Montgomery Blair, any student that has a license is eligible for buying a parking permit. Security should consider a ‘first come, first serve’ system with handing out permits so that more people can have a chance.

Having a parking permit costs money, and if a student is willing to pay for that, they should at least be allowed to apply and see if there are available spots left.

Juniors who don’t have permits should also park where they know they are allowed to; Davis Library isn’t such a bad alternative to the school’s own lot. That being said, seniors also should not vandalize cars in order to encourage people to park somewhere else. Somewhere in the middle of the two extremes is a happy medium for everyone.