Some HHS students were plenty resourceful and a little bit sneaky in navigating the new numbered parking system.
Several went to a different Golden Opportunity night than they were supposed to, enabling them essentially to cut in line for purchasing parking passes and to snap up many of the best spots.
The Golden Opportunity oversight won’t happen again, HHS Principal Bob Cotter told The Ville News recently.
“We are considering … switching the arrangement of Golden Opportunity to put juniors and seniors together on the first night, and then sophomores and freshmen on the second night so the only group that should be buying on that first night is juniors and seniors,” he said.
Another likely change for Golden Opportunity, the principal said, is requiring students to show their driver’s license to prove that they are even eligible to drive and rearranging the stations so students must verify their grade level and get an ID badge BEFORE they buy a parking pass. Last time, no one checked grade level.
“We know for a fact that’s a couple of areas we need to get ready for Golden Opportunity next year,” Cotter said.
Shenanigans aside, the new parking policy draws mostly positive reviews from students and staff.
Before the change, Cotter said, “It was getting harder because people were parking everywhere. You know, people were parking by the band trailer and parking in the grass.”
Now, he said, everybody is guaranteed a place. “Theoretically, if you get here 10 minutes before school, you have a parking spot.”
Many at HHS like the new setup.
“It keeps people out of my spot,” said sophomore Jonathon Coomer.
“I think it’s pretty cool if you have a spot that’s up close, because like no matter when you get to school you know you have a parking spot,” said senior Connor Pace.
“But,” Pace added, “having a spot that’s behind the away (side of the) stadium kind of” stinks.
Office worker Cheri Glor said the new policy has reduced first-block tardiness. “Before we had assigned parking, people had to drive around to find a spot,” she said.
Teachers also prefer the new arrangement. “I know that I’ll have a spot waiting for me every day,” said English teacher Carmen Watts.
History teacher Amanda Elmore likes that she can leave campus during the day and have the same spot when she returns.
Not everyone is pleased, though. As Pace mentioned, for students with good spots, the new policy is great, but for those with bad ones, the old first-come, first-serve method was better.
“I feel like if you get here early you should get a good spot, but if you get here late you should park in the back,” said senior Reggie Grisham.
“It’s so dumb because sophomores have better parking than juniors” said junior Hayden Redditt, adding “seniors should get first pick.”
Pace suggested staggered pricing, like concert seating; students would pay more for prime spots.
Others think more places should be designated for visitors so they wouldn’t have to take student or teacher spaces.
Nearly everyone seems to have a horror story about arriving to school and finding another vehicle in his or her spot.
Cotter says he’s working on that.
“We try initially to send someone out to get them to move their car,” he explained. “If they don’t have a parking pass, then we tell them they can’t drive back on campus. If it becomes a repeated issue, then we issue tickets.”
Article by staff writers Sarah Kovach, Bailey Guy, Peter Livesay, Giulia Giordani, Kayla Delk, Kelsey Dotson and Olivia Nutting