It is not secret that this school year at Saint Cloud High School is substantially different than the other years; some differences include the new FlexTime schedule, and the vast number of students. With lunch being a fundamental part of our day(s) at school, it was bound to be affected. There have been many issues reported on the food quality, timing, lines to get food, and more.
The moment the lunch bell rings, students rush to the cafeteria to get to the food before anyone else. As a result, the lines become so long that most students end up missing out on the opportunity to eat. “I have seen people cut in the lunch line(s) numerous times. Eventually it becomes more of a cluster than a line,” Wendi W, a sophomore at SCHS, exclaimed. This increases the wait time for food, causing many inconveniences for the other students. Lane Jasmin, another sophomore at SCHS, added, “I don’t ever have any time to eat. After waiting in lines, trying to find a seat, and visiting some of my teachers to either make up work or get help, I only have about 5-10 minutes to eat. There have also been numerous occasions when the fifth period bell rang, and I had to eat on the way to class.”
As shown, the new schedule for this year is affecting more than what time students go to class. Proper nutrition is extremely important for school; as it allows the students the ability to focus and be diligent, and to carry out their days in fine health. A topic that has been brought up by many students this year is the quality of the food vs. the pay. When interviewed, Evan S, a junior at SCHS explained, “Just the other day I got chicken and an apple from the cafeteria, and I couldn’t eat it because the chicken was raw, and the inside of the apple was green and dry. I don’t think I should be paying for food that will do more harm than good.” When a student gets sick from eating the food that the school provides, this can cause them to miss their classes; causing them to fall behind.
Since this school year has started, both the staff members and students have been continuously speaking about how this school had a major increase in students. Mrs. Fry, a teacher at SCHS expressed, “The freshman class this year is the biggest I have ever seen.” The considerable number of students is affecting us more than just the lunch lines here at Saint Cloud High school. Students Amy V (sophomore), and Kallisha C (freshman), have come to the agreement that the vast number of students that are enrolled at the school this year have made it quite difficult to exit and enter buildings, go up the stairs safely, and find places to sit during lunch; especially places with shade. Kallisha added, “There also aren’t many places to go that offer air conditioning. The cafeteria is always full, and there's barely any seats that are available in the gym or library. Almost always I dread lunch because I know I am most likely going to have to spend it outside in the 98-degree weather. This has also been hard on some of my friends that have health conditions (an example being asthma, and blood disorders) which can be triggered by heat.” The health of students on campus is a critical concern. Not having enough facilities available that can accommodate their needs is a major issue not only for the school but the students that have the conditions. Although there have been many upsides to the new schedule and rules this year, these issues need to be addressed.