Editorial: Parking remains lose-lose situation for students


Jordan, Charlotte

A student car gets a ticket.

Daniel Farrow, Staff Reporter

Any student with a driver’s license understands how flawed the parking system is at Vandegrift. Students with an off period especially feel this pain; showing up any time after 8:45 a.m. means hunting for spots in the annex lot or possibly parking up the road at the church. When students are forced to park at the church, they’re then left with an almost half mile walk (roughly 725 meters according to Google Earth from the center of the church parking lot to the entrance of building 2). The causes behind this problem are many and complex; however, there is one cause that can be solved without building a new parking lot: selling less parking passes.

For the 2020-2021 school year, the vast majority of students were stuck at home learning through LISD’s online program. During this period, parking passes were unnecessary and if a student needed to park at the school for any reason, they had no problems doing so. In previous normal years, it was understood that Vandegrift was not built for its current student capacity. Today, we have 2,726 students with roughly 750 students who are unable to drive. This leaves 1,976 students vying for a very small amount of parking spaces. Previously, parking passes were sold by seniority; seniors got the first round of passes, and every senior that wanted a pass received one when they paid. Next up were juniors who usually received the same amount as the seniors. Any leftover scraps went to the sophomores, and anyone who didn’t get a pass had to park on the street. Two years ago, the biggest problem was students with no passes parking in the lot, while nowadays the problem is that everyone has a pass.

Upon returning to in-person education, the administration decided on a new policy: everyone gets a pass. If a sophomore turns 16 in April, they can still purchase a parking pass. Now, this seems like a great idea if only there were unlimited parking spots. Shockingly, this isn’t the case, and it leaves students stuck between getting a parking ticket or arriving late to class. This causes quite a conundrum as students have to decide which punishment they’d rather endure on any given day that they cannot find parking. Many students have expressed very negative impressions of this system, often believing that administrative greed is the reason for the policy change and citing this as a reason to refuse to pay their parking tickets.

Students are stuck between parking illegally or walking ridiculous distances and being late to class, and the administration faces hundreds of stubborn students who refuse to pay their tickets. The situation is entirely unnecessary and can be solved without spending a penny on construction by returning to one of the oldest functions of a stereotypical high school: seniority.