HC seniors receive a pleasant parking surprise

by Hannah Faulkner

Here at HC, parking is a complicated issue for all members of the community. With a student population of over 2400 and a staff population of 178, it’s no secret that parking is limited. In the past, this meant that a lottery awarded limited student parking spaces, and students with priority (Those who needed to leave during the day) received spots. This caused a percentage of seniors to not be able to park on campus in the only 210 student spots available. This year, however, proved different.

“This year every senior that put their name in the lottery got a spot,” Assoc. Principal Laura Donovan said. Donovan is the administrative liaison to parking, meaning that she handles the non-legal aspects and keeps track of student qualifications. As such, she is the expert on the constant debate of parking and its ongoing issues.

“This is the first time this has happened in the amount of time that I’ve been handling parking,” Donovan said, “and I’m extremely glad that everything worked out this way.”

parking-collageA large part of the parking process is also run by the HC law enforcement. The officers handle the more legal aspects of the parking permit application and reception.

“The process is really simple,” Officer Brandon Blair said. “Students who have their intermediate or full license, a car that they can drive consistently, insurance, and their registration are eligible to be considered for the drawing.”

Blair also gave some of the reasons students could lose those valuable parking permits.

“A student can lose their parking permit for things as simple as improper placement of their permit to not having proper registration or attempting to sell or give their permit to another student,” Blair added.

Neither Blair nor Donovan were aware of how this rare phenomenon occurred. HC has long had a tradition of having too few parking spaces and too many driving students.

“I really don’t know how this happened,” Donovan said, “Either we have fewer students driving, or there were fewer names in the lottery this year, because we certainly haven’t added any additional spaces.”

The biggest stakeholder is the students themselves. The students who are eligible to gain parking have the most to gain, and the most to lose. Those students who did not receive parking passes in previous years were forced to park on the surrounding streets, something that many juniors of last year remember.

“I’m frankly really surprised,” senior Evan Hays said, “but I think it’s really a very good thing that we were all able to get permits.”

Hays is the Student Council president for the 16-17 school year. As president, he is a vocal member of the student body, fighting still to get students more involved in the decision making of the school, which would include a student voice in the decisions made about parking. He also is a large part of the Student Voice movement, which among other goals, aims to put a student voting member on the Site Based Decision Making Council.

“I think that we got a student voting member on the Site Based Decision Making Council (SBDM) it would really help a lot with these kinds of problems,” Hays said.

The SBDM is the decision making body that makes all the important school-wide decisions that legally a single principal can’t make alone. In KY, the SBDM is also the body that deems whether or not money can be requested to make more parking available. Although the district makes the final budgeting decisions, such actions such as that have been proposed in previous year, but were unsuccessful.

“Whatever the case, I really hope this trend continues after I leave here, and I hope that future seniors know that the process will work in their favor,” Hays said.