Seniors should get first picks for parking spaces.

April 3, 2019

Senior year is supposed to be fun and exciting for those who are enjoying their last year, and there is a surplus of things to be thrilled about as the 2019 second semester comes to an end. Many seniors are able to enjoy their senior privilege once they have completed TOK if they are in IB, or at least get a break from classwork while they work as a student aid. Among the most popular activities that seniors get to enjoy their last year of high school are Grad Bash, Prom, Project Graduation and most of all, graduation. Unfortunately, getting the best parking spots are not among the list of privileges seniors get to revel in during their last year.

As perhaps the most expensive year of all, seniors and their families must pay for class dues, sports, dances, field trips and much more. Since the majority of seniors have their licenses and often rely on driving themselves to school, parking becomes another important factor on the budget.

In the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, there was an influx of lowerclassmen fresh out of their first couple years of high school, many of them with brand new cars and their parents now used to the luxury of their own kid driving themselves to school. For most seniors, it seems unfair that many lowerclassmen get better parking spots solely because they were able to get their licenses first and had enough money to purchase the best spots. Time is also often against the seniors, since many were not able to get their licenses before the beginning or at the very start of the 2018-2019 school year, and the amount of spots available were quickly taken. As a common ideology, seniors like to think of themselves as the “top dogs” of the school, and many find it only reasonable that the upperclassmen get to enjoy certain privileges that not everyone else should, since they have been in school longer and have put in more work to become closer to graduation.

This year, there have been so many student drivers that Suncoast has experienced an overflow of students having to park in the visitor parking lot. Although it is actually closer to the school, some students feel isolated and would rather the system be handled differently. Jose de Alvare is a senior this year, and because he was only able to get his license Dec. 12, 2018, Jose must park in the back of the visitor parking lot, as he is currently number 27 on the waiting list for students wishing to receive a parking pass. “A bunch of people who park in the student parking get to hang out with their friends in the morning…and socialize, meanwhile I have to sit in the visitor parking all alone because nobody parks there.” Jose said.

This is not an attack on lowerclassmen; however, it is simply a wish that for seniors, as in recognition for their hard work and perseverance, be rewarded with better parking spots. “I feel like there should be a certain number of reserved spots for the seniors who get priority since they have been here the longest. Sophomore year, freshman year and junior year, I took the bus.” Jose said.

This year the parking system was also updated, with each student receiving their own sticker with a printed number on it, designating a single parking space for them according to the amount they paid. The cheapest priced sticker is colored white, then green and yellow for the most expensive and closest spots. With prices starting at $60 dollars, they increased to $250 as students wish to purchase parking spots closer to the school.

Even though Suncoast students can easily manage the walk from the very back of the lot to the school, it still seems like a better way to manage the spots by giving seniors the luxury of receiving a designated section of the closest spots to the school. Perhaps with more recognition and the perseverance of other seniors who wish to have priority, there can be a change in the school’s parking system.

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