Prior to the 2016-2017 school year, parking passes at Mt. Hebron were distributed to anyone who had their license and turned in their forms before permits were all distributed. As of this year, parking passes were only allowed for seniors and for students who had specific reasons for requiring one. With over 300 senior students and 150 student parking spaces, it was more difficult for juniors to receive passes.
Junior Megan Holtzman is against the new change. “It’s not beneficial to the juniors who got their license before seniors [did],” she said. There are in fact some juniors who acquired their licenses prior to this school year, and some believe that these drivers would be better equipped for the road than newly-licensed seniors.
However, some students are torn on the issue, such as junior Michael Bodziak. “It’s fair because juniors who get [a parking pass] have to have a good reason,” he said. “But also I feel that the parking lot isn’t full and they could give more parking passes out to juniors.”
One reason some students may feel this way is because as one goes around the lot during the day, there are several parking spots still empty. This may either happen because some people with permits are absent or because the space itself is still available. Juniors are also citing the fact that not all of the 300 or more seniors attending Mt. Hebron drive to school, and therefore there should be some spots eligible for juniors as well.
However, Principal Andrew Cockley recently announced that all of the parking spaces have indeed been filled. But there are many ways that juniors are working around this issue.
Many students have been parking off the lot in order to make the trip to and from school easier. These students have been parking in places such as behind the school near the bike path and past the bridge on St. John’s Lane. However, those walks may start making a difference when the temperatures drop and winter comes to town. For now, this solution is making a big difference for students coming from places by Worthington.
After school, many students have places to go, whether it be home to do homework, sports practices or work. And many students, including junior Maya Barnes, live farther from school, making it harder to make it to these places.
Barnes herself parks off the lot, and she defended this when she said, “I would rather walk the bridge then ride the bus. For those of us who live in Worthington, which is 15 minutes from Hebron, and [have] work after school, there is no time to go home and make it to work in time.”
Seniors have many differing opinions about whether or not juniors should receive passes. Senior Lauren Murphy said, “It’s a good idea to hold off on giving juniors passes so seniors have to time to get theirs. People who have to go to work or have other stuff should be able to receive one, but seniors should still come first.”
Overall, Mt. Hebron juniors will just have to wait until the spring to claim their parking spaces.