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Old parking rule faces new regulations

Catherine Gagulashvili calendar manager

Students are not allowed to move their cars from the Swim Gym parking lot while school is in session. This rule was sent to students via Jupiter Grades by House B Assistant Principal Chris Regan on Sept. 5. For students who have sports during their sixth period, the enforcement of this rule has had an impact on their daily schedules.

The rule states that “no student should be moving their car from the student lot to the Swim Gym parking lot during the day, including at lunch.” Students who disregard the rule, along with all other parking enforcement rules, face getting their car ticketed and/or towed, losing their parking spot or receiving a one-day suspension. The rule is now strictly enforced due to the safety concerns and the ongoing construction, which limit the number of parking spaces.

“Because of the [current field] construction, we have a very limited amount of parking spaces available for students, visitors and staff. The Swim Gym lot is mainly for visitors, and we have a small number of parking spaces there that we are offering to sale for senior athletes who are interested in moving from the student lot in the main building. It’s a posted, assigned lot,” Regan said. “So if people are moving their cars down there, they are parking in a spot that is not assigned to them. We don’t want kids who have actually purchased a spot there to not have their spot.”                                                           

Regan also reiterated the fact that the only students allowed to leave campus are students who obtain off-campus passes.

“The only students that are technically allowed to leave campus are students that have off-campus permits. So technically, if an 11th or a 12th grader, who had their car parked [in the student parking lot] didn’t have an off-campus pass, drove off campus to park their car, they’re violating two rules. One, they’re going off campus without permission, and two, they’re parking in an assigned spot that’s not theirs,” Regan said.

Dance Company member senior Sara Levin finds this rule to be an inconvenience.

“After a sport, you’re hot and sweaty and you don’t want to walk all the way back up [to the student lot] to get your car when you can go to the [Swim Gym] parking lot,” Levin said. “It’s kind of an annoyance that I wish I didn’t have to deal with.”

Even though senior athletes are permitted to permanently move their parking spot to the Swim Gym, some seniors choose not to take advantage of the opportunity because some find that the walk across campus from the Swim Gym to first period is long and might cause tardiness.

“[I won’t be permanently moving my parking spot to the Swim Gym parking lot] because my sister has class in the science building on the fourth floor, and I have class in the bungalows,” senior Yael Balakhane, who drives herself and her sister to school every morning, said.

Balakhane, who runs cross-country, was also agitated by the enforcement of the rule.

“Every day, [I would] move my car to the Swim Gym. But now, I have to walk all the way [down from the student parking lot]. We train at Roxbury Park now because our field is being redone. So now, I have to walk from Roxbury Park all the way to the parking lot to get my car after running an average of six miles a day,” Balakhane said. “I just think it’s unfair because we work so hard to be on a sport and at least seniors should be able to drive their cars down.”

Senior quarterback Jeremiah Klapper, who has abstained from purchasing a school permit in the past because he found the price of a $300 annual parking permit to be too high, is now considering purchasing a Swim Gym parking spot because parking his car near the Swim Gym will make it easier to get to practice. Had the rule not been enforced, Klapper probably wouldn’t be looking into purchasing a permit.

“I never parked [in the student lot] because I feel like everything is overpriced. I would park on the street or anywhere I could find because it was pretty pricey,” Klapper said. “Now that I’ve heard about the rule where you can park in the Swim Gym if you’re an athlete and you’re a senior,  I’ll look into [purchasing a spot].”

Head Varsity Football Coach Steve Geanakos finds nothing wrong with the enforcement of the rule, claiming that it seems to have improved attendance.

“The problem I think we had in the past was that [students] could move their cars. They would go out or go home [or] go do other things. It seems like lately I’ve even had less tardiness because they can’t move their cars,” Geanakos said.

Geanakos also brings up the point that rules change all the time and everyone has to deal with them.

“The beauty and the interesting thing about high school is that most of you are here for four years or less. So when there’s a change, everybody gets up in arms and then all of a sudden, it’s over [and everyone] move[s] on,” Geanakos said.

Even though some students have found the enforcement of the rule to be a hindrance, other students have viewed it as an opportunity to park in a different location on campus. For athletes who have to carry equipment across campus, Regan suggests getting a P.E. locker and storing equipment there. Regan reminds the student body that the enforcement of this rule is not meant to be considered as a punishment; it is simply another school rule that is to be followed.

“We’re not trying to punish kids. We have a finite number of parking spaces on campus that we have to deal with,” Regan said. “[The end goal is] that everybody parks where they’re supposed to park and that everybody stays safe.”

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