Do you like combined lunch? There is a possibility that next year, instead of the divided lunch between upperclassmen and freshmen on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, lunchtimes will come together in a singular period for the whole school. The aspect of a singular lunch has most teachers tremendously happy, because combining lunches has been a much discussed topic and has been debated for years between the faculty. However the students don’t share the same optimism as the teachers, and dread the possibility of a more crowded, rowdy, and chaotic lunchtime.
A recent survey by the staff revealed that 60 percent of teachers wanted to eradicate the separated lunch that we currently have and have a single lunch period schoolwide.
Teachers in favor of the change believe that it would largely benefit the school. They argue that a combined lunch would be inclusive, and allow everyone to have the ability to participate in special lunchtime activities. In addition there would be fewer special schedules, and a combined lunch would ensure a normal eating time for everyone, instead of the very early 11:36 a.m. lunch period that upperclassmen have.
“Combined lunch is educationally and socially better for students. Educationally students have access to all teachers at lunch. There wouldn’t be a disruption of bells ringing during class, or kids in the hallways,” said social studies teacher Carmelina Frasca.
Combined lunch daily would allow more students to attend more clubs, because the clubs would have an option of meeting on any day of the week instead of being confined to two block days. In addition, it would allow students to join more clubs, which looks very good when applying to colleges.
However, many students see the negative side to combined lunches.
“Lunch lines will be terrible. Freshmen need their own time to get used to the school,” said senior Vy Le.
“I don’t want to be stuck with freshmen every single day, and the cafeteria would be too crowded,” said junior Christopher Trinh.
Do freshmen need time alone to get acclimated to the school?
Freshman Anna Tse thinks so, stating, “In all honesty I don’t think combined lunch is good. We already have it two days a week. It’s not a good interaction between classes.”
Principal Blaine Torpey sees both sides of the issue. “I see the more primary reasons to change as simplifying our schedule so we have fewer special schedules, increasing student access to activities and teachers, and creating space for building intervention time into our schedule,” he said. “I see the primary reason against the change is the ninth graders losing their protected lunch time three days a week. I would also add that there is more space available to students when there is a split lunch.”
An Olympian survey of more than 100 students showed that 76 percent oppose a combined lunch and 84 percent support a separated lunch period.
However, 73 percent agreed with the faculty showing that a combined lunch would greatly benefit clubs. The survey also showed that 84 percent of the students do not feel like the separated lunch prevents them from enjoying lunchtime activities. Addressing the crowding issue, 81 percent of students said that the number one frustration that they have on combined lunch days was the overcrowded seating areas, with 75 percent saying that the increased traffic around the school causes the most frustration.
CVHS is currently polling students to get their feedback about the combined lunch decision. However the school has not revealed a timetable as to when we will have a definite answer.