SRHS Students Love “Lots” (Just Not Tree Lots)


Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journ

San Rafael High School sophomore Olivia Davis walks between rows of newly delivered Christmas trees as students set up a Christmas tree lot on campus in San Rafael, Calif. on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2017. SRHS students volunteer each year to set up and run the school’s Christmas tree lot, their main fundraiser benefitting a variety of school programs. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

Cian Stewart, Contributor

San Rafael’s annual tree lot has long been part of SR tradition. It has been a way for students to raise money for their elective classes and sports teams during the last few weeks of the semester as school funding starts to run low in those areas. It’s not only beneficial for the school, but also the students who attend and help out as it creates a fun, social working environment. It even gives students the possibility to earn a little bit of cash from tips.

However, the tree lot isn’t all good and green. In order for there to be space for the tree lot, a substantial amount of the parking lot has needed to be commandeered ever since the new field and parking lot were constructed instead of using the previous empty mulch patch in front of the old field. Taking away from the already limited parking space available to students. That’s not the only complication. The construction on the new school facilities that began back in 2018 has made finding parking during tree lot months go from bad to worse.

“Its f-ing annoying,” says Kelsey Mazareigos when asked about her thoughts about the tree lot and the parking problems it causes. And she’s not the only one who thinks this, there are many other students here at San Rafael High that feel the same way. “The tree lot causes problems for a lot of students because they have to waste time in the morning finding spots,” stated Sarah Williams, a Junior who began driving around the time construction began on the new S.T.E.A.M building and cafeteria.

“I illegally park in the back lot so it doesn’t affect me”, said a senior who wished to remain anonymous. The lack of parking available to students isn’t the only problem that the tree lot creates. Teachers are also affected due to students invading the teacher and staff parking as a result of them not having any other alternative that’s easily accessible.

“I don’t have any problems until after school because I park here [the back lot] until after school because of all the people who stay after school to move to the back which makes it a pain in the butt to find parking if I want to go and get a cup of coffee,” said Mrs. Herrera. Another teacher at San Rafael, Mr. Allen, also said he has had his spot seized by students multiple times. However, both teachers agreed that the take over of their spots was not related to the tree lot and the problems it causes.

Despite the tree lot not having much of an effect on the staff members, it disproportionally impacts the student population who have to compete each morning for parking. The students have voiced their discontent with the parking situation. However, they will have to tolerate the tree lots’ inconvenience for the few short months of its presence, until the construction is finished.