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The Parking Price Tag

Alex Greene
BUMPER TO BUMPER: Seniors, and a few select juniors, are allowed to park in school lots, permitted they purchase a $50 parking sticker. The money goes towards a Student Activity Account.

Emblazoned with one’s class year and framed by the standard Staples blue, student parking stickers are displayed proudly on the windshields of the majority of cars found in the school’s parking lot. Each sticker is branded with a unique registration number in order to identify the car. However, it is not the only number that comes with student parking. A price tag looms over every single blue and white sticker.

For seniors, the cost of their parking stickers is $50 apiece. Juniors don’t have to pay as much money, because they receive their stickers later on in the school year. According to Richard Franzis, one of the assistant principals, the price is “pro-rated” depending on the time of the lottery. For instance, Franzis estimates that a sticker in April will only be about $10.

According to Franzis, $14,000 per year is usually accumulated from student parking and goes into a Student Activity Account. This account mostly provides funds to sustain parking such as new tickets, new stickers, and the maintenance of the security vehicle. In fact, this year the money was used to buy the new security vehicle from the Westport Police Department.

Patrick Micinilio, assistant principal to the senior class, also adds that the money goes towards the general upkeep of the school.

“Last year, somebody took the gate between Bedford and Staples,” Micinilio said. “Things like that aren’t generally in the budget, so having these funds is helpful.”

Despite the fee’s purpose, some students remain skeptical about the cost.

“I’m sure the school uses the money for good stuff, but they just bought new computers so I doubt they desperately need our money,” Turner Block ’13 said. “It’s overpriced, and the school is taking advantage of the students, because they know we have to pay.”

Elizabeth Coogan ’14, a hopeful contestant of the junior parking lottery, agrees.

“The price is a little high,” Coogan said. “Besides staff and visitors to the school, who else is going to be taking up those parking spaces except for students? The spaces would be empty without students, so why should we pay that much?”

Greg Salamone ’13 feels the same way.

“I never enjoy giving up hard earned money, but corporate is going to do what they please. We wait 17 years to get senior parking, yet we have to write a check,” said Salamone. “It’s like they care more about the numbers than the person.”

In contrast, Franzis believes that it is a fair deal.

“Parking is a privilege, it’s not a right,” Franzis said. “The Town of Westport graciously provides a large sum of money in the form of school buses, so students could get here for nothing if they wanted to.”

However, Georgie Talbot ’13 disagrees wholeheartedly. To her, she believes that student parking is, in fact, a right.

“We shouldn’t have to pay for parking. We have to go places. We have a lot of commitments, and we deserve to have parking for free,” Talbot said. “After all, we do go to a public school. Everything should be free.”

Although there are many protests from Staples students, other schools in Fairfield County have much more to complain about. Weston, Fairfield Ludlowe, and Fairfield Warde charge their seniors $100 or $50 per semester for their juniors. Wilton has two different parking lots. Seniors can either buy assigned parking spaces for $150 or park at a free parking lot with no guarantee for a spot. The free parking lot functions by the first come first serve policy. Lastly, Ridgefield charges $200 for their student parking stickers.

With so many different opinions, there was only one thing that Garrett Jordan ’13 could say about the issue: “It’s bogus.”



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About the Contributors
Sami Bautista
Sami Bautista, Web Sports Editor
While most Inklings staff members are spending time on their newest articles, Sami Bautista is busy being the captain of the lacrosse team--as well as writing her next article. How does she do it? She should take up a new sport: juggling. Although Bautista’s passion for sports, such as lacrosse and field hockey, continues to burn bright, she just couldn’t resist being a part of the paper.  Last year, she held the web features editor position, and this year Captain Sami will take on the roll of being the staff’s newest web sports editor. Bautista is ecstatic to take on her new paper position, as it will allow her to write about all aspects of sports. She feels as if it will give her the ability to bond her two interests together. Her articles will include game scores, statistics and news throughout the seasons. “Even though the practices for lacrosse are so hard each day, the feelings you get after winning a game makes it all pay off. I also feel the same way when I finish the article I have been writing,” said Bautista ‘13. Bautista’s ability to remain dedicated to both of her school activities proves that it really is possible to be an all-rounder. There’s only one thing left to say: aye aye, captain.
Alex Greene
Alex Greene, Photo Editor
She may have been waived out of the Introduction to Journalism class, but Photo Editor Alex Greene ’13 is no beginner. Fresh from a National Geographic Student Expedition trip to Peru, Greene plans to bring the expertise she practiced this summer to the front pages of Inklings during the school year. When she’s not snapping photos, Greene enjoys participating in other unique activities that not everyone can say they have tried in their lives. As an avid member of the Staples Swim Team and a co-captain of the Girls’ Water Polo Team, the leadership that a role on Inklings requires will be no stranger to her. “What most people don’t know about water polo is that it is actually extremely aggressive,” she said. “We even have drills where we practice appropriate ways to kick people.” Greene plans to bring those fighting qualities to the Inklings staff for the 2012-2013 school year. Eager when faced with new challenges, she plans to tackle what the advanced class entails with the same motivation that she approaches the pool with. The student body should be prepared for a shock when they see Greene’s world-class pictures grace the pages of Inklings throughout the school year. She may be new to the staff, but she is far from inexperienced.

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