Seniors were given the go- ahead to continue the tradition of painting their own parking space in the senior lot even amidst COVID-19. This iconic part of senior-year fun was approved the week of Sept. 14, much later into the school year than in previous years.
“Normally, we would have already completed them.” Sherry Dieterich, StuCo sponsor said. “We just weren’t really sure what was happening with school. We didn’t want to sell parking spaces, make them give the money, and then never get to park in them.”
Seniors can paint at some point in October, though the exact date is still being determined. Dieterich is also uncertain of what the painting protocol will look like, but she is certain that it will be safe and will accommodate social distancing needs. The purchase and approval process is the same as last year: pay a $30-$35 fee, fill out two forms, then submit your design for approval. Construction on the back of the building in preparation of the new stadium will also affect which spaces are available.
“[We will not be painting in] the two or three rows closest to 380 because they will be blocked off by construction after the first of the year,” Dieterich said. Even with the setbacks and complications the campus is facing so far in 2020, Dieterich felt it was important to keep this senior tradition alive.
“The reason that I even do them is because it’s all about the students, and I want them to be able to have a good experience,” Dieterich said. “This year is certainly not going to be like the other years, and I think we finally got them approved because of that. [We wanted] kids to be able to do fun stuff throughout the midst of all of this. There’s been so much going on, it was a process of making sure it was all going to be safe.” Qualek Smith, a senior and varsity football player, is looking forward to the continuation of painting senior parking spaces.
“I honestly want to have my own spot, so I don’t have to look for parking every morning,” Smith said.
Besides practicality, Smith feels the customized senior parking also has sentimental value for the class of 2021.
“Honestly, it’s because of the different things you can do with them,” Smith said. “You can express your emotions, your mind, your creativity. There’s just so much you can do with that. You will always remember that forever, even when you graduate high school, like ‘Hey, I remember when I painted my parking spot here,’ and y’know they can show their kids, and stuff like that.”
Smith mentioned his senior beginning with a rocky start, but that with everything going on with COVID, having this tradition “adds more to the new normal.” Updates will be coming soon on specific dates, protocols, and approval.