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The Milton Measure

The Dilemma of Student Drivers and Parking on Campus

by on Friday, April 28th, 2017

In terms of academics, the transition from sophomore year to junior year is drastic: students face a heavier workload, an increase in flexibility regarding course selection and electives, and the stress of entering the college process. Socially, students endure a big change too, as a large percentage of the day student population begins to get their licenses and starts driving to school. Nevertheless, with all of the freedom that comes with driving, it also comes with rules and limitations at Milton.

According to the Student Handbook, the rules regarding day students leaving campus are as follows: “Students must keep the School accurately informed of their whereabouts at all times when under the School’s jurisdiction. Milton Academy does not have an ‘open campus’ system that permits students to come and go at will during the day. Students must remain on campus until the last academic commitment of the day or 12:40 p.m., whichever comes later. Permission to leave campus during the academic day may be obtained from the dean’s’ office or class deans.”

Many day students have expressed dissatisfaction with this system and its lack of freedom. Natalie Wamester (II) believes that the current system is unfair and explained, “Boarders have the luxury of going back to their dorm rooms during frees, but day students don’t have an equivalent. I think that as long as they inform the school of where they are going, and are going somewhere reasonable, they should be allowed to leave during the day.”

Mr. Ruiz is also not happy with the current policies. He stated that “some drawbacks [to the current system] include the fact that as a school we need to say what we do and do what we say – this means the handbook must be accurate in letter and spirit to the policies and practices of our day to day routines. We also need to partner with parents around the actual experience of their children when they are in our care — this means it is our responsibility to have systems that allow parents to express their willingness to leave certain decisions to us as a school and within reason ask that they be consulted before we make certain decisions regarding their specific child. Additionally, we need to have systems in place that are realistically supported given the layout of our campus, staffing, etc.” He explained how in an attempt to address the current issue, the school has been analyzing whether parents or owners of the car are comfortable with the risk of students driving a car, whether parents are comfortable with their child riding with other children, and what the appropriate action is for the school to take against students who violate Milton’s driving policies.

Both students and the administration seem to be in agreement on at least one aspect of this issue: the current policy is definitely flawed. When asked what was working with the current system, Mr. Ruiz responded, “Short answer is – not much. Systems work best when individuals acknowledge and follow through on expectations. Currently we have a number of rogue students who opt to leave campus without any permissions.”

Last year, when day students wanted to leave campus during the day, they could sign out in the dean’s’ office with their name, where they were going, what time they were leaving, and whether they were driving with other passengers. Isabel Greenberg (II) explained how “the current system doesn’t allow the freedom we always had before, and makes us more likely to go behind the administration’s backs if we just want to go out for lunch with our friends or go home for a few periods. Also, it’s weird to be in constant fear when you have a coffee cup in your hand at school (even if you got the coffee at an appropriate time).”

Another issue with student drivers on campus is the parking situation. Mr. Hackett, Director of Campus Safety, believes that parking is the biggest problem with driving on campus. When asked what needs to be adjusted in terms of the current policies for student drivers, Mr. Hackett responded that in the future there will be “one student parking lot on campus, which will allow for better accountability of who is leaving campus and when. In addition, it would help with the pool lot congestion between 2:30 and 3:10 PM. Students need to plan to leave the pool lot at the beginning of 8th period (2:30 pm at the latest) or wait until after 3:10 pm.” Natalie Wamester also spoke to the parking issue and pointed out that “the parking system is flawed. The student parking lots are not large enough for all of the drivers, so often times students receive unfair assembly cuts because they had to search campus for a parking spot.” Many students, particularly juniors, are unhappy with the Pool Lot regulations.

Very few members of the community, administration and students alike, seem to be pleased with the current policies regarding student drivers. Hopefully by the the start of next year, we will adopt a more comprehensive system that satisfies all parties involved.


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Posted by on Apr 28 2017. Filed under More News, News, Recent News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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