Sophomores Have Open Campus for Lunch

Laila Hasanovic, Staff Writer

For the first time ever, sophomores now have open campus for lunch. In October, the school board approved this decision. They decided this was would be an effective mitigation strategy for the usually quite full cafeteria during the pandemic. Around one third of the sophomore population has their license. That means there is potential for about two hundred more students, not counting students who leave with their friends, to be out of the lunchroom during lunch.

The reason sophomores were kept from leaving campus for lunch was because sophomores go through many changes once they switch into the new building and many struggle. So, administrators felt that keeping sophomores in the building and making sure they get to their classes on time would be beneficial. However, this was prior to the pandemic and students being able to eat safely is a greater priority. This privilege is only being given to this years current sophomores, meaning as of now, sophomores in the years to come will have to stay in the cafeteria during lunch like students in the past have done. The school board’s decision left students with differing opinions.

Since many students like Advija Jusufovic ’23 do not have the option to leave due to not having a car, getting more students out of the cafeteria makes them feel safer. “In regards to COVID it does [make me feel safer] because some students still find it difficult to keep their masks on correctly when not eating,” Jusufovic said.

Not only do students who stay here feel safer, but the sophomores that leave the school for lunch do as well. “Leaving does make me feel safer because I know exactly who I’m around or just by myself so it makes it easier for contact tracing if needed,” Emma Puckett ’23 said. Sophomores now having open campus allows them to take the precautions they deem necessary to feel comfortable during lunch in the pandemic. Some do this by going somewhere else to eat or simply eating in their car, away from others.

Although COVID is the reason sophomores were given open campus for lunch, that is not the only benefit they are glad to have. To many students it seemed unfair that they would not be able to leave campus just because of the grade they were in. “It gives us sophomores more freedom and we don’t have to feel like we are more restrained than the juniors and seniors,” Alyvia Jensen ’23 said.

Overall, sophomores are pleased with this change. It makes them more comfortable while eating lunch in the pandemic. It also makes students feel like they have more freedom than before and that they are not being treated differently than the juniors and seniors.

However, the upperclassmen have mixed opinions. When they were sophomores, they had to stay in the cafeteria during lunch. “It is unfair for sophomores this year to have open campus opportunity. Open campus involves a higher level of maturity that some sophomores do not posses,” Declan Schuessler ‘22 said. But other upperclassman do not mind it because it is a mitigation strategy.