For as long as kids have been driving to school, the senior parking situation at St. Luke’s has always caused quite the stir. When walking through the halls, you can often hear students complaining about how early they have to arrive at school in order to secure a spot in the upper parking lot. On some days, you can even hear announcements over the loudspeaker, ordering the unlucky student who parked on the curb to relocate their car.
This year, the school has instituted a new parking system to minimize the stress and chaos caused by the previous first come, first served routine. As of September 2019, each senior and faculty member who requested a parking spot received an assigned, numbered spot that they can call their own throughout the year. After the first semester, the parking assignments will rotate, allowing those with spots in the lower lot to park closer to the school, and vice versa. Now, instead of frantically searching the parking lot for a free space before first period, students and faculty can drive to school with peace of mind, knowing that their spots are guaranteed and waiting for them.
The new system has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from both students and faculty, as the need to arrive unnecessarily early has been eliminated. Mrs. DeMarco-Havens excitedly exclaimed, “I love my new spot!” while Mrs. Cortes said, “I wish I signed up for one.”
When explaining his process for establishing the new system, Mr. Ward noted that it was important for it to be “simple and something people could get used to.” He continued to explain that the toughest part would be trying to make it part of our culture here at SLS. However, aside from Mr. Hamilton’s concern that won’t get his daily steps in since he has to park closer to the school, feedback has been almost entirely positive.
Alongside adults, students have expressed their appreciation for the new system, especially since many leave campus during lunch and can now return to their spot without worrying that someone else has taken it.
Grace McKessy ‘20 expressed her gratitude for the new system, stating, “When I come back from lunch it’s so convenient to have my spot waiting for me. It removes the stress of finding a spot before class and rushing back to campus.”
In fact, Mr. Ward’s inspiration for the new system stems from previous years, when seniors would leave during lunch and return with nowhere to park. When a student would be forced to park on the curb, they would face parking punishments even though the lack of space available was not in their control. In an attempt to reduce unfair punishments, Mr. Ward felt that numbering each parking spot was the best method for reducing stress and maintaining order in the SLS parking lot before school.