New rules and regulations regarding lunch periods in the cafe have been introduced this year. The most notable changes are the enforcement of division of lunches by form and the seat limit at tables. These changes have not been beneficial to the community because they reduce flexibility in the schedule, don’t address the crowding issue on Wednesdays, and isolates students from their friends.
This division of the lunches affects the Monday and Tuesday schedule the most. On these days, there is Lunch 1 and Lunch 2, which are half an hour each. Officially, Lunch 1 is for forms five and six while Lunch 2 is for forms three and four. This time is commonly used for club and teacher meetings as well. This year, the regulation surrounding these times has become stricter. There are even teachers standing at the door checking what form students are in and verifying if they have a meeting or not.
Saturday detentions have even been assigned for being in the cafeteria at the wrong time. This course of action is problematic for many reasons. I’m sure the teachers assigned to be at the door would rather be relaxing and enjoying their lunch period. Additionally, assigning a Saturday detention for minor infractions like this is unprecedented. They should be reserved for serious misdemeanors, or else their significance is lost. Requiring a student to come in on a Saturday conflicts with sports games, transportation, and taking time to relax after a rigorous academic and athletic week.
On Wednesdays, lunch is the last period of the day, spanning from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. with no division by forms. All four forms eat at once, causing the cafe to be overcrowded and hectic. It’s not unusual to see lines stretching back to the entryway of the cafe.
KO has half day Wednesdays so teams can play in games without arriving back at campus too late in the evening. Athletes with away games whose departure times are closer to 12:45 p.m. should be given priority in the lunch line. This would also make sure that any food shortage or setback that may occur wouldn’t affect their ability to eat before a game.
The form deans said that stricter regulations on lunch times were an attempt to relieve stress on the rate the dining hall staff has to produce food. However, no new policies were introduced to Wednesday lunch, which is where the real stress lies. The regulations also disregard the natural divide that occurs. Many students only take about 15 minutes to eat lunch and then scatter to other parts of campus. Other students will meet with a teacher or go to a club meeting before heading to lunch. Some just prefer to have a little free time before they go to lunch. This is an authentic way to regulate overcrowding in the cafeteria.