Parking issues continue to be a challenge at HC


HC’s senior parking lot during the school day.

Evelyn Dyer, Reporter

Although there are many problems with HC’s campus, one of the most glaring problems this year is student parking. As a continuity from pre-COVID years, seniors register and pay for permits to park on campus in the senior lot, while the auxiliary gravel lot provides overflow space. Juniors and sophomores are expected to park off campus on the hill, which is about a four minute walk to one of the only two entrances.

Parking on campus and close to the entrance is a privilege reserved for seniors. Nevertheless, seniors aren’t the only ones parking in the student lots, resulting in confusion and frustration for all involved.

After HC students returned from virtual learning, many school rules were relaxed. Restrictions on late work, dress code, hall passes, and parking policies were all cut back. This year, though, HC administration has finally deemed it time to reel the rope back in as the dress code is enforced and the hallways are patrolled. It’s difficult to ignore that COVID has had lasting effects on the enforcement of school rules. Notably, juniors have never experienced high school pre-COVID, so they are unaccustomed to following the rules (and more inclined to break them). 

Over 20 juniors received a ticket that seemed fake and didn’t have to be paid in October for parking in the gravel parking lot without a permit. Conflict over parking policies leaves students on all sides of the dispute feeling angry: seniors coming to school late have voiced concerns over their inability to find a spot while juniors are upset over being ticketed. Rule followers who have parked on the hill since being ticketed have been punished with tardies after the time it takes to walk from the hill to the gym and then wait in the metal detector lines. Administration needs to resolve this issue with a new solution–banning juniors from the gravel parking lot and intermittently enforcing it has not accomplished anything, as juniors and underclassmen continue to park in the gravel lot.

Some would argue that juniors should learn to follow the rules. However, from a practical standpoint, there is no reason why the gravel lot shouldn’t become parking for juniors. Seniors who have paid for permits have voiced frustrations over coming to school late and being unable to find a spot. But as the year progresses and more juniors and sophomores are able to drive, the senior and gravel parking lots will fill up with underclassmen. If people are breaking the rules as it is, this problem will only worsen to the point where seniors could struggle to find a spot at all.

The only viable solution to this problem to please all of those involved is to create a parking lottery and turn the unoccupied spaces in the gravel lot into junior parking. Administration won’t have to worry about enforcing the rules, juniors will have the chance to legally park closer to school, and seniors will have guaranteed spots (given that no one will park in either lot without a permit). The upcoming new semester brings the perfect opportunity to create a new policy. No matter what HC administration decides to do, the detrimental effects of inaction are becoming increasingly more apparent.