Lunch passes have pros and cons
MON. | 04-04-22 | OPINION
During advisory classes on February 28, all Rose students received a lunch pass that included a blue lanyard, an identification card with a picture and barcode and a fun retractable string to connect the two together. The purpose of the lunch passes is to make the lines at the lunch carts and in the cafeteria move faster by having students scan their barcode and move along instead of manually typing in their student identification number.
The passes themselves are quite nice, including high quality fabric for the lanyards and a plastic case to put your ID in. The retractable string is really entertaining, and my friends and I have had fun pulling it all the way out and letting it snap back in. The lanyard is not too bulky or too small, so it is easy to store but hard to lose. It can also easily be attached to a book bag for easy access.
I also think the lunch passes are a good effort to help out the cafeteria staff. The staff have had to adapt to many changes since COVID-19 began. Between bagging lunches, pushing around food carts, and dealing with broken machines, they have had to work their hardest to provide
Graphic by Safi Waqas
lunches for the students of Rose. The quick scanning of the lanyards makes it easier for them to move the lunch lines along faster and in a more organized manner. My favorite lunch lady has expressed to me how she's glad people can just scan and go, and that it makes her job easier. She can just look on the computer to see if it went through and keep track of everyone coming in, instead of having to wait for people to type their numbers in and telling them they did it wrong.
Timing has continuously been a problem at lunch, with many students at the back of lines barely getting their food before the 25-minute lunch blocks are over. Though now I have lunch during A Refresh sessions, during the Lunch C Refresh session in the 300 hall, I usually spent more than half my lunch time just waiting in line, only for there to be limited food options once I finally got to the front. That may be simply due to the sheer number of kids eating on the 300 hall, but it may also be because of how long it takes for each individual person to type in their student ID number and get it right.
In the cafeteria, the lanyards will hopefully ensure that every student will be able to quickly get their lunch and have enough time to eat when they sit down. Since there will not be multiple, different lines for students to get in, everyone will have to flow through one or two lines to get their meal. As long as most students keep up with their lanyards and have them ready, there shouldn’t be a problem.
There are a few concerns I have about the lunch passes. The passes are needed to scan the barcode, but for people who lose the passes or don't have them, they will have to type in their number anyway. I believe that most people will lose their passes over time or forget them often, and the clogged lunch lines will be there regardless of the pass, especially in the cafeteria. Perhaps stronger enforcement or reminders to use the pass may help, but I believe that many will not remember their lunch passes. I do think the lanyards are a good way to get students familiar with a college lunch setting, since colleges often have meal cards for students to swipe upon entering their cafeterias.
Regardless of whether or not the Rose student body will adapt well to the transition from manual typing to lanyards, I think the effort to make the cafeteria staff’s jobs easier is well worth the risk <3