SWHS Junior Starts Change.org Petition to Improve School Parking System

SWHS Junior Starts Change.org Petition to Improve School Parking System

Emily Osit

As the days are getting shorter, and the temperature is getting lower, that walk from Upper Dupre just gets more difficult. Students from all grades are joining together for one cause: the SWHS parking system. One junior in specific: Wyatt Cote, decided to take action against the current system.

“They started to crack down on students parking in the back lot, in open and untaken spots,” Cote explained, “and I just felt that it was unfair because they have other issues to worry about in the school.” If a student without a school-issued parking pass is caught in the student parking lot for the first time, they simply get a warning stuck on their front windshield. If that student is repeatedly caught, further consequences are possible. 

What students disliked about this system was that for a full-year parking pass, students must pay $100. Without this pass, students must park in the Upper-Dupre parking lot, which will cost them a quarter mile walk every morning. 

Associate Principal Tera Harlow clarified the school’s reasoning for the high cost with, “We called around to a few other schools to determine what they charge for a parking space. We charge $10 a month, school is in session for 10 months, so $100 for the full year.” Research found that neighboring school East Catholic charges $55 for the entire year, and Tolland High School with the low rate of $5. Ms. Harlow then went on to explain, “I think when students are upset, they haven’t taken the time to ask questions, so normally we like to bring them to the office to talk to them about it, to try and figure out what the problem is.” Suggesting that if students have concerns, they should come to school admin first.

However, Cote decided to start a Change.Org petition titled, “SWHS parking spots” with the description “I am proposing a ‘first come first serve’ system in terms of parking in the student lot at SWHS.”

Other students shared their opinions, and expressed their support for a new system in the petition’s comments. Junior Kaylie Guerrera wrote, “Even though I obtain a ‘parking pass’ I still support my fellow classmates. I hope the pain and suffering comes to an end.” Another junior, Alexa Parada shared “Defund the SWHS parking system. Unbelievable.” There were numerous comments under the petition, most of which have been recently deleted. 

With roughly 200 parking spots, and $100 per spot, it is estimated that the school will make $20,000 for these passes. Cote expressed that his biggest concern was where that money was going, saying that it’s, “not up to the student body to fund anything for the school.” Harlow quickly debunked this concern, explaining that the money is put into a general fund, which is then used to help fund school activities. Meaning things like having the grand stand at homecoming or extra things on top of that.

From the looks of it, SWHS administration has no plans of altering the current parking system. However, registration for a parking pass will re-open in March at a reduced rate.