Students Have Short Temper Over Shortened Lunches


Andrew Baker, Media Editor

The bell rings for lunch, and you begin your journey from the basement, across the school, to the parking deck. After all, the school allows upperclassmen to go off campus because the cafeteria can’t accommodate all the students. 

It takes five minutes to complete the trek to your car. You finally reach your car and begin to navigate the treacherous parking lot, full of students looking at their phones and talking to friends. 

After getting out of the parking deck safely, you sit in traffic; another five minutes go by. Now to find a restaurant: all of them are five minutes away, and it’s always a gamble to guess what places will be busy. 

Five minutes to order, five minutes to get your food, five minutes to eat, five minutes to get back to school and five minutes to get back to class. 

With lunch being cut down to 40 minutes, every minute is important, and a five-minute segment is crucial to getting to class on time with a full stomach. After a month of students getting used to a 45-minute lunch, during the homeroom schedule, removing such a critical amount of time leads to increased tardies and missed instructional time. 

Eating quickly is not healthy, and bringing food back to class causes a distraction to others. 

Along with the introduction of a shortened lunch, students were introduced to Cougar Time. In theory, Cougar Time is a 25 minute segment each day in a different class to catch up on missed work and/or study for any upcoming assessments. 

In practice, Cougar Time is either spent chatting with friends and being off task or just as an extension of the class, making it lose all purpose. 

Instead of prioritizing Cougar Time, the administration should recognize the impact that shortened lunches are having on their students. 

These problems may seem self-inflicted, and an easy solution would be to stay on campus for lunch. However, the cafeteria has a capacity of 768, and with the current student body population of more than two thousand people, it is impossible for every student to eat in the cafeteria.

Off-campus lunch is often considered a privilege when in reality some students must leave campus in order to follow fire safety regulations. Juniors and seniors are expected to leave campus for lunch but are punished for conditions outside of their control.

Cougar Time should be eliminated and lunch should be extended to 50 minutes. This extended lunch period will provide students with enough time to comfortably reach a restaurant, eat their food, and come back to school on time.

A 50 minute lunch can also provide a better way for students to get extra help on academics, with plenty of time to make up work, take tests and ask their teachers any questions.