Parking Lot Controversy Causes Class Wars


Hunter Bogumil, Staff Writer

Nothing infuriates Seniors more than when they pull into the parking lot at 8:20 a.m. and see  parking spots filled with Juniors’ cars. During finals last year, I had just received my license. I was so excited to finally be driving that I got to school super early to get some last minute studying in.

At the time, I knew what Senior parking was, but since it never applied to me, I did not take the time learning about the details of what it was. That morning, I pulled into a Senior parking spot not knowing what I had done. A Senior saw me get out of my car and immediately yelled at me to leave, and then explained what Senior parking is and where I need to park.

Though Seniors aren’t assigned specific spots which they can customize until around mid-winter break, they are given a special Senior area closer to the school from the first day of school. This is one of many privileges of being a Senior. The problem is that until the spaces are assigned, spaces in the parking lot become open game for anybody after 8:20.

“If those spots are open after that time because the Seniors are late then I am totally cool with Juniors parking there. I’m cool with that because that’s what I did last year when I was a Junior,” says Senior Duncan Cappar.

But the quickest way to get on most Seniors’ bad sides is by trying to take one of their Senior privileges away from them.

“Senior parking has always been something that Seniors have taken very seriously. That is something that they have valued,” says Upper School Division Head, Mr. Seldis.

Senior parking goes through two different stages during the school year. The first stage allows the Seniors their own area in the parking lot. There are no specified spaces for Seniors to park; it is a first-come, first-served system.

Stage two in the world of senior parking is a privilege that has to be earned. Senior privileges first began in the early 2000s.  Seniors were granted special privileges when they turned in their forms at the start of the new year.

As the school grew, Mr. Mahler decided that privileges shouldn’t be automatically granted, but earned.  Senior parking became a privilege, first awarded as a Convocation gift by Mr. Mahler.

In recognition of the privilege, in stage two of parking, Seniors are assigned their own spots within the Senior parking area. They are allowed to customize their spots to mark their territory. Painting the curb with their own designs is an ODA tradition for Seniors.

Some Seniors, like Duncan Cappar, are forgiving when it comes to Juniors or Sophomores parking in their spots; but others have a no exceptions policy when it comes to underclassmen stealing their space. They do not care who you are or why you are parking in their spots. They just know it’s wrong.

Juniors and Sophomores tend to be very understanding of Senior parking, while others decide to simply ignore it and park there anyways. This is where the controversy between Seniors and non-seniors begins.

“Seniors wait three  years to park in Senior parking, and when you are a senior you finally get to park closer to the school,” says Junior Skye Ehrhart.

We will see if this year’s Seniors will earn their Senior parking and all their Senior privileges, and I am sure they will be not afraid to stick up for what is theirs.