Pass the Paint Brush

Why Seniors Should Be Able to Decorate Their Parking Spots

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Pass the Paint Brush

Caitlin Gorbett, Staff Writer

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Over the past few years, we have been seeing more and more schools allowing their seniors to paint their parking spots. Across all the news articles and social media posts, we consistently see the students of other schools utilizing and expressing their creativity with mini-murals of sunsets, designs inspired by our favorite childhood movies, and a wide variety of artwork that shows the true personality of the individuals who park there. 


I am struck with a flicker of jealousy every time I see people on social media outside, in their school parking lots, painting their senior spots. I cannot help but fall into the group of seniors who want to participate in a simple activity that would stretch our creative wings and spread our senior spirit. We are on our way out. Should we not get to do something memorable with the time we have left?


Our upperclassmen have been going over the situation over and over together since we first started seeing other people’s painted parking spots. It seems so simple. It is just a parking spot, and we have to pay for it, and the prices seem to keep getting higher every year.


We already pay so much for our spots. Parking permits start at $30 for the entire year, and many seniors who paid the additional $10 for the senior lottery do not feel that they really got a better spot out of it. Students at Robert E. Lee only pay $20 for their parking passes, but the school has an area of their parking lot reserved for seniors who want to paint their parking spots. A spot in that area is $50. I would not mind paying extra for my spot if I was allowed to paint it, and I know my classmates would not either. 


So why can seniors not just paint our parking spots?


The short answer: money. The school would have to pay to have the lot repaved at the end of every year. We cannot just paint black over them like a lot of people might suggest. The buildup of paint on the pavement over the years would damage it and cause the surface to become uneven. 


However, having seniors pay extra for the spot would not completely solve the problem. Our senior class this year has roughly 320 students. Not everyone has a car or license, and even if every one of us paid $50 for our spot, there would only be $16,000, and the cost of repaving a parking lot with roughly 300 spots can get up to $200,000. Our student parking lot has double the amount of spaces. This is not even including what currently happens with the money we spend on our parking spots. 


So what if we were allowed to paint a corner or just a portion of our spots? There are other schools out there that give their seniors this option so they do not have to completely repave the lot, and it is less expensive to remove or cover up the paint if it is in a much smaller and more contained area. 


That being said, it is unclear if we will see this change in the near future, but we should still push for slightly raising the price of a senior parking spot to allow them to paint a corner.