Hybrid Learning Cooks Up Problems, Frustration in Cafeteria

Lunch changes lead to safety concerns, complaints


Sara Richardson

Seniors enjoy their lunch in the lunchroom. Unlike juniors and sophomores, seniors are allowed to eat in the courtyard or go to the senior lounge when they’re finished. They find this time helps them stay on top of their schoolwork and college applications.

Sara Richardson, Managing Editor

Although the new lunchroom changes are to ensure safety and social distancing, there is a social aspect of school that is lost. Bailey Abraham ‘21 attests to this sentiment, stating, “[the new protocols] take out an aspect of school, like a social aspect of school that is really important to have fun. It’s weird having to sit behind dividers when you’re trying to talk to someone because you can barely hear them.” Ryoya Yamada ‘23 adds “Because of the plexiglass […] it’s making it harder for us to socialize with everyone. And, I’m new here, so for me it’s even harder to make more friends then I would normally.”

In addition to students finding it more difficult to communicate with each other, they don’t see the social distancing necessary to ensure safety. 

While students understand the need for these rules, they aren’t seeing other necessary precautions around the lunchroom. David Carlson ‘23 describes how “everyone is cramped into that staircase and they only enforce social distance when we are [in the lunchroom]. We need to change to have one of the larger staircases to be the down stairs.” 

Many students are starting to eat at different times during the lunch period so they can stay safe. However, students in the gym continue to feel like they should be allowed to leave early or go to other areas. Shreya Mohan ‘22 says, “this might be different if I was in the cafeteria, but I think maybe letting us out to one other spot might be better, especially because the gym is so cold.”

Furthermore, students also wish that they could bring their own food. Many students miss having choices of making their own sandwich or salad, and trying a bit of everything. Charlie Weyerhaeuser ‘23 states, “They should have more options. We are getting like one or two options, and it’s like a hot meal and a sandwich.” Abraham feels as though “allowing students to bring their own meals” would fix a lot of the lunch problems. 

Although students wish lunches could go back to normal, they’re finding different ways to adapt. Mohan says, “I have to plan ahead with a friend what lunch we have and where to meet […] depending on when your class gets out, even if you’re let out five minutes late, you’re stuck in the line for so long and it’s super hard to find a spot with your friend.” Along with all the other new protocols, students continue to try to find solutions for these problems as the need for social distancing continues.


Juniors sit in the gym as they eat their lunch. Bingo games once a week provide a form of entertainment and excitement since students are not allowed to leave until the lunch block is over. Students often do homework, converse with friends, and play the iMessage game, Crazy Eights. (Sara Richardson)