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Published on September 29th, 2011 | by Staff 12-13

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Student Parking: Far-fetched Dream or Attainable Reality?

Gregory Boehm
Staff Writer

Every morning, multiple students show up late to class, with the now all too common “I couldn’t find parking!” excuse. To teachers this excuse is invalid, but for students, finding parking outside of the now unavailable north lot, commonly known as the “senior lot,” is a daily struggle.

For many, driving is the only way of getting to school. If the lack of parking is going to cause students to be late, then the school should accommodate and not give late slips to students who must deal with such an avoidable issue. Or better yet, a school with student drivers should figure out a way to effectively provide parking.

The solution to this problem used to be the north lot, which was used by both faculty and students. But due to construction, the north lot, the only on-campus parking lot available to students, is no longer accessible.

As it is now, the streets of Strand, Hollister and Pacific are a daily madhouse of people trying to get parking spots. With the north lot now unavailable to students, I can only foresee these conditions getting worse.

To be fair, the bus is always available, but early morning transits and waking up extra early is just an additional struggle, especially for seniors. It’s not to say that people will boycott school, but getting to school should not be this difficult. It seems that in this whole construction ordeal not enough thought has been given to the students who are, in fact, the center of the educational system.

There’s no doubt that students are angered. However, it’s not just students who face such an avoidable inconvenience. Teachers, who come earlier and stay longer, are also caught in the middle of this dilemma.

But according to H-house Principal Leslie Wells, the teachers who will be relocated out of the north lot will be transferred to the Civic Center parking lot. In fact, if negotiations with the Civic Center go through, the teachers’ parking expenses will be covered. The money that will pay for these teachers to park there is coming directly out of the construction budget.

“Every dollar spent on parking is a dollar not spent on construction,” Wells said.

Senior class President  Spencer Goodman recognizes this parking situation and has contacted Civic Center officials in search of reduced-price parking for students.

According to Goodman, regardless of the increased revenue the parking lot would receive, the Civic Center has refused to reduce any parking rates or even meet with Goodman in person. A representative claimed that all of the monthly passes, bought once per month that allow for somewhat reduced parking rates for the Civic Center lot, are sold out.

“If this fails then I’m definitely going to start trying to get reduced fares for Samo students for the bus, but in terms of parking, there’s not much we can do,” Goodman said.

The city’s reluctance to provide Samo students with discounted parking means that a student could pay the nine dollar daily fee at the Civic Center lot, adding up to roughly $200 a month.

Seniors don’t need to drive to school, but after four years of hard work, most students deserve it. It’s the high school right — that feeling of independence.

“It’s good for [high school students] to drive to school because they get a chance to practice driving, being responsible and making safe choices on the road,” senior Joseph Heller said. “[Students] are then more likely to repeat those choices.”

Driving to school not only provides students with confidence, but is also a key part of the high school experience. While  it is not necessary for seniors to drive to school, they should be allowed to drive and park conviently if they want.

Samo needs some way to accommodate students needs.

$200 is a ridiculous price to pay for parking and frankly an insult to students. My family doesn’t spend that much money on food per month. And trust me, we eat a lot.

gboehm@thesamohi.com


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