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Remembering the cafeteria

SAT. | 11-13-21 | OPINION

     March 2020. That’s the last year Rose students used their cafeteria for lunch. Students had the ability to sit next to whomever they wanted, choose their lunches, and move freely through the lunch room.

     Let me preface this by saying I understand why we cannot use the cafeteria at this time. Due to COVID-19, eating in the cafeteria would cause worse conditions with the spread of COVID and add to the difficulty of contact tracing. That being said, the freshmen and sophomores currently attending Rose have never had the opportunity to have their lunch in the cafeteria. 

     One of the most appealing parts of eating in the cafeteria was the ability to socialize with your friends. You weren’t stuck in your assigned seats like in one of your classes. You could walk through the myriad of lunch tables and find any of your friends. Personally, I met the majority of my friends in the lunchroom. By sitting next to some of the people in my classes at lunch, I was able to branch out and meet their friends. Without being able to freely move around a room of people, students are missing out on opportunities to meet peers. 

     When we used the lunchroom, we were also able to choose which lunch period we wanted. This let us line up our lunches with our friends. More importantly, you could work your lunch around Refresh classes you wanted or needed to attend. Although we have Refresh again, we do not have all the freedom associated with it. We now have to work our schedules around our lunch, instead of vice versa. Students may miss out on certain academic or extracurricular 


Photo by Harry Albritton

activities because of their unwavering lunch. As of now, Flextime Manager does not even allow students to see what sessions are open for that session let alone sign up for them. I used to switch my lunch around so I could attend academic sessions with my teachers, but with this new system, students don’t have that freedom.

     I do think the school has done a good job of allowing students to continue eating lunch in school. The lunch staff is still able to provide lunch for students through carts set up in the halls. They are able to keep traffic in the halls to a minimum by having lunches in three separate periods divided by halls. While this does not allow for all the freedom of the previous system, it still allows students to have some sort of lunch experience in schools.

     While the efforts put in place by the school are commendable, the cafeteria provided students with a sense of camaraderie that we do not get any more. There is a larger disconnect within the student body. Although I understand why we cannot eat in the cafeteria, I feel as if it is disappointing for the younger students who have yet to experience it.

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