VIP, off-campus lunch too limited

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More stories from McKenzie Gandy

Students at East are given a variety of options as to where they want to sit at lunch. Alternative lunch seating is crucial for students, especially high schoolers who love to get up and socialize with their friends. One other option is called off campus lunch and only seniors get that selection this year.

The problems with VIP lunch and off campus goes on and on. This school year we have gained more students than past years, meaning our halls and school is packed. The issue with this is that there’s no space to move. During lunch if you step from inside the senior commons into the cafeteria your surroundings will be a lot different. 

The senior commons when it is lunchtime becomes “VIP lunch.” VIP lunch is where students from grades ninth to eleventh get in based on their grades, GPA, behavior and attendance, so it is a privilege. Let us say you start off in the VIPlunch area and make your way to the cafeteria, you will notice a change in how much people there is. To me it does not make any sense how we can have so much people crowding each other in one room then when you are in VIP lunch there’s three fourths of the amount of people. 

The VIP lunch list in the senior commons changes every quarter meaning the amount of people in both rooms alter.  For example, if the first quarter you have good grades, attendance and behavior you will be allowed in. However, if your grade or anything changes in the second quarter then your privilege to be in there will be taken from you. This quarter East has about 450 students that are allowed to be and eat in the senior commons in both first and second lunch.

Off campus lunch is another big privilege that students can have. Last year juniors were also given the advantage to eat off campus because of all the construction we had which made harder to get around. Now this year most of the construction stopped so juniors are not given that option anymore and it is just the seniors. Since this school year has already gained way more people than last year, many students would argue that juniors should have off campus too. It would be very logical to make off campus available to juniors again so that there is more room to move in the cafeteria and to not feel overwhelmed. 

With having off campus, there is a slip that people need to fill out in order to leave school for lunch. Numerous students have left for lunch without turning the slip in which caused them to get caught and sent to the deans. The problem with that is there are people who do not have any friends to sit with at lunch and that want to be alone, but if they do not meet the qualifications for off campus then they do not get to have it. The requirements include a GPA of 2.5 and higher, a signature by the lunch staff, deans, and lastly the counselors. 

If we have all these options for us students, then I believe anyone can get into eating in the senior commons and have off campus. Making these changes will lessen how many people there are and also improve attitudes throughout the school. In doing this, there could also be consequences given out to any student who uses this privilege as a disadvantage.

Off campus lunch can be used as an academic incentive and can clear traffic in the building during the lunch periods. Having VIP lunch open to more students can assist with overcrowding as well. We as the students of this school need to communicate more about what we want and how to make that work with the faculty. Communication between students and staff can help improve and solve problems at the school.