Kirkwood High School student newspaper
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Call Ed: Parking problems

art by Jasper Kipp

art by Jasper Kipp

art by Jasper Kipp

Currently, KHS’s two student lots are segregated by grade level. Juniors are limited to parking in the Essex lot and seniors in the Dougherty Ferry lot. This issue, 70 percent of TKC staff (57/82) believes KHS should allow juniors and seniors with parking passes to park in whichever lot is most convenient.

Parking in the Dougherty Ferry lot would save Mark Mackenzie, junior, almost a half mile of walking and nearly 10 minutes every day. His first hour, AP Calculus BC, and his seventh hour, Aerospace Engineering, are both next to Dougherty Ferry. The Essex lot is nearly a quarter mile across campus. Throughout the course of the 2015-16 school year, parking in the “senior lot” would have saved him approximately 85 miles of walking and 28 hours of transit time.

Mackenzie is one of the many upperclassmen who suffers every day because they are forced to park in one of the two student parking lots. For a senior with their first hour class in the art building on the south end of campus, parking in the Dougherty Ferry lot can be agonizing. While it would take a junior only a minute or two to reach their class, it could take a senior five or six. This can be the difference between being on time and tardy.

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There are several key factors that make the administration hesitant about opening both lots to upperclassmen. First, many seniors who have classes on the north end of school see parking in the Dougherty Ferry lot as a “senior privilege.” This group, however loud they may be, is far from everyone.  Claire Visnovske, senior cheerleader, for example, wished she could park in the Essex lot during basketball season. Her car in the Dougherty Ferry lot was nearly a quarter mile away from her seventh hour in the drama room. Every day she only had 20 minutes to cover this distance and change. According to Visnovske, had she been able to park in the Essex lot, she would have gotten more critical time to stretch before the team warmed up stunts.

Second, opening up both lots to juniors and seniors would make it more difficult for KHS security to determine who leaves campus for off-campus lunch. However, this could be overcome by creating new regulations to ensure only seniors are leaving during lunch hours. For example, seniors could flash their IDs to the lot security guard on their way out the door. The red “KHS” at the top would easily and efficiently prove a student to be senior. Or, to make the process even easier, KHS could give each grade a different colored ID lanyard. Seniors would simply need to wear it in order to leave campus. Under the current system, 59 percent of juniors (112/191) left campus for lunch this year. With a new system in place to cater to both lots, KHS could possibly even better regulate who leaves for lunch and who stays on campus.

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According to Dr. Michael Havener, principal, the administration has considered opening up the lots to both grades in the past. However, they determined there wasn’t a strong enough desire among students to change at the time. Although he is hesitant to break lasting tradition, he says the administration is willing to reconsider. In regard to parking for the future, Havener claims “nothing is off the table.”

Under the current system, both juniors and seniors suffer. Many who have paid for parking passes feel like they have wasted their money. For some, a parking spot on the street is closer to their first hour than their designated lot. Students like Mackenzie are hesitant to voice their dissatisfaction with the system because they believe the school isn’t willing to change. Two-thirds (168/251) of students believe students with parking passes should be allowed to park in whichever lot they like. Juniors and seniors pay to park on campus, so they ought to get their money’s worth.

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