WHS parking pass problems


Credit: Sophia Oppenheim

WSPNs Charlotte Thirman and Sophia Oppenheim polled WHS students about parking passes.

Sophia Oppenheim and Charlotte Thirman

Every year at WHS, issues with traffic and parking problems recur. This year, the issue of purchasing parking passes became even more of a prominent problem as many students neglected to pay for the parking pass.

On Friday, Sept. 16 Assistant Principals Laura Cole and Sean Gass along with Student Supervisor Paul Bonfiglio left warnings on students’ cars that did not have a parking pass. The warnings stated that students with unregistered cars could have their vehicles towed from the WHS property. This was a success for the administration since many students in the coming days paid for their parking passes.

A warning ticket lies under the windshield wiper of a car in the senior lot. “This notice is to inform you that you have failed to properly register your vehicle,” the ticket reads. “As an unregistered operator you are subject to having your vehicle towed or booted at the discretion of Wayland High School administration.” (Credit: Sophia Oppenheim)

“These aren’t my policies,” Bonfilgio said. “I was out there just trying to help the student because it’s important that if there are going to be penalties associated with not getting registered that students know about that so they don’t get penalized.”

While many students ended up paying for the parking pass, they were still very upset about the pricing of the parking passes. The passes cost $220 if purchased at the beginning of the school year.

“They can’t make parking $220 dollars and not explain what that payment goes to,” senior Piper Cinti said.

A large concern of many students is what the money is being used for.  According to administration, the money collected is spent to cover town snow removal, maintenance and supervision of the parking lots.

“Virtually every high school has fees for parking, we are not the only school that has this requirement for parking,” Cole said. “Whether we like it or not, fees are a part of life. In college, you will have printing fees, wifi fees, etc… it just is what it is.”

Administration is still confused as to why students are so upset about the pricing of the parking passes, even though in a poll taken on student drivers showed that 96% expressed disagreement with the price.

“I am not really sure [why students are mad about the price of parking passes],” Bonfiglio said. “I could probably say that they feel entitled to a space here at the school.”

Other students from neighboring towns are also upset over their prices for parking. The price to park at Natick High School is $200, and the price to park at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School is $300. However, Weston High School students can park for free through a lottery system.

“I just think $200 for the year is a bit ridiculous since it is hard for some people to afford,” Natick High School senior Mia Blocker said. “Cars are already really expensive.”

A seniors car sits in the parking lot with a parking pass. (Credit: Sophia Oppenheim)

Many other Wayland students have other frustrations regarding the parking passes like twin seniors Hannah and Zach Gordon. The Gordons usually drive together to school, but occasionally they take two different cars because they have different activities after school. Since they felt it was unnecessary to pay for two different parking passes, the family asked if they could get a discounted parking pass. Administration denied their request.

“We thought that a discount was a pretty reasonable ask, so it’s frustrating that they want us to pay full price for a pass that isn’t going to be used every day, especially since we don’t even know what the money goes to,” Hannah Gordon said.

For students that are upset about prices, Cole suggests that students reach out to the School Committee Chair, Chris Ryan. The price of parking passes are set in the spring each year.

“Do the right thing, register your car and pay your fee,” Cole said. “If you need financial assistance just ask for help, and we will help you.”

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