Parking permits to be distributed to all upperclassmen

Caleigh Stephens

All juniors and seniors will receive parking permits despite the lack of spots, according to a newsletter Principal Sondheim sent out on Sept. 14.

The emailed newsletter said that every upperclassman who applied will get a permit, but will not be guaranteed a parking spot.

“As has been true for a number of years, more permits will be distributed than we have parking places meaning having a parking permit is not a guarantee of a parking place,” the newsletter stated. “Rather, a parking permit means a student has permission to park on campus.”

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In an attempt to find a solution to the issue, Assistant Principal Larry Pratt will be meeting with a committee composed of students, staff, and administration in the coming months.

“[The committee] is to review the current process for assigning parking permits and to explore alternatives,” Pratt said. “Basically it is an exploratory committee looking for a more viable alternative.”

Pratt is currently taking requests for those interested in joining, and is looking for a balance of different grade levels to ensure representation.

According to Pratt, it is difficult for the administration to predict exactly how many students will apply for parking permits each year.

As enrollment at Redwood grows, Pratt foresees that parking will become more of an issue.

“There’s a growing student population but the amount of parking spots are finite,” Pratt said.

According to Pratt, there are only 325 parking spots available for student use. The permit applications numbered 455, with 171 of the requests from juniors.

Parking permits have been available to seniors since Sept. 10, but until Sept. 14 there was no word from administration on whether or not juniors would get them.

Initially, the administration allowed only seniors to pick up parking permits, and this led to massive outrage in the junior class, as many assumed that no juniors would receive parking permits at all.

The junior class Facebook page was filled with angry comments and plans to protest, which included parking on the South Lawn and parking sideways in spaces, according to junior Mary Bello.

“[The junior class] all banded together on social media, over Facebook and text, on how we were going to revolt,” Bello said. “People were angry, so extreme ideas popped up.”

All information on the topic, erroneous or accurate, was spread through the group page, and according to Bello, rumors arose that not only would no juniors receive permits, but that the administration would be ticketing all permit-less cars that parked in the lots the day after permits were first handed out to seniors.

Bello believes that the solution of handing out permits to all upperclassmen was good, as many juniors need to drive to school.

“Many of us do extracurriculars and without driving our own vehicles, how are we going to get to them if they are far away?” Bello said. “If we want to [drive legally] and not carpool to those extracurriculars, then we have to have parking permits.”

The junior class was brought together by its shared anger at the administration, according to Bello.

“None of us have talked in the group Facebook page these whole two years as much as we have just right now over these parking permits,” Bello said. “It was a really funny way for all of us to come together.”