Reserved senior parking is based on laziness and entitlement

Senior+Bradley+Hamilton+pauses+to+look+at+A+Lot%2C+which+is+widely+considered+to+be+the+best+student+parking+lot+at+PVHS.%0A

Bradley Hamilton

Senior Bradley Hamilton pauses to look at A Lot, which is widely considered to be the best student parking lot at PVHS.

Rece Vining, Lead Editor

Among the seniors of PVHS, there is a growing movement to designate senior-only parking. Currently, 104 people have signed a petition to make select parking lots only available to upperclassmen, citing as their reasoning a lack of respect, a desire for privilege restoration, and reported sophomore intrusion into already designated parking spots.

Restriction of A and Lower Lot parking would not solve the underlying issues driving this movement. Instead, it would foster resentment among non-seniors, promote a dangerous culture of entitlement that would harm integrate relations, and do nothing to reduce parking violations by underclassmen. 

The idea of senior privileges is not unique to PVHS, but an established part of American high school culture. Unfortunately, its phaseout at PV is threatened with this proposal. Privilege based on seniority is founded on the principle of entitlement, i.e. that seniors deserve additional “rights” because they are older and had to put up with formal and informal segregation during their own underclassman years. 

The historic practice of senior-only parking at PV stems from a time when there was very little parking to go around. Since the new addition, however, there is no shortage of parking, and the creators of the petition implicitly acknowledge this by citing inconvenience rather than unavailability as their chief grievance. 

Senior Sanjiv Iyer believes there is more than enough parking under the current system. “Parking is not an issue for seniors unless you arrive after 1st period. Creating a senior lot would not guarantee a parking spot to a senior that arrives after 1st hour.” Since the new addition was completed, there is ample space for all upperclassmen to park by 8:10. Thus, the desire for better senior parking comes not from necessity, but a desire for convenience. 

The petition also cited underclassman parking violations as an inhibitor to senior convenience. It is true that parking violations are frequent. What is unclear is how restricting junior parking privileges would dissuade current rule-breaking sophomores and newly indignant juniors from continuing to park in those lots. 

The petition itself acknowledges that ticketing is ineffective, saying “[Sophomores] are being ticketed but it is not doing anything to fix the problem.” Revoking current junior parking would only increase the violation issue that is apparently so offensive that it necessitated a petition on change.org, a website normally reserved for petitions of real value. 

The revocation of existing parking would have additional effects besides the obvious souring of relations. Taking away junior parking would have adverse effects on morning activities. 

Junior Jon Conway commented on how that would affect his early morning swim schedule: “As a swimmer, you have 3 morning practices a week starting at 5:30 AM. The revocation of the current parking plan would cause a myriad of issues. For example, walking outside in single digits at 5 AM is not ideal.” 

Conway’s situation is not abnormal. Morning activities include early bird lifting/PE, jazz band, Spartan Assembly and Model UN. Forcing juniors in morning extracurriculars to bypass numerous parking spots so seniors arriving three hours later can sleep in an extra minute or two is not only ludicrous, selfish and insensible, but also potentially dangerous. During winter, the parking lots can be coated with black ice that is even harder to spot in the darkness before sunrise. Parking on a first come, first served basis would help to minimize this needless risk. 

The movement to reserve two full lots for the senior class needs to be stopped. Certain parking initiatives, such as limited preferential parking for students taking Scott classes, are based on common sense and egalitarianism. The senior lot measure is based instead on privilege and elitism. Leaving A Lot spots empty until 9:00 needlessly punishes juniors/sophomores involved in extracurricular activities that should be promoted, as well as creating many more problems than it would allegedly solve.