Huntley High School’s dining dilemma


S. Hursey

By Sara Hursey

When sophomore Sofia Abbott picked her way through the cafeteria during sixth hour, she struggled to find a table for her friend group. Every table was full, with few chairs left to be snagged. During the first few weeks of school, this was a common occurrence for students eating during lunch periods.

This begged the question: why can’t students eat in other areas of the school? Huntley High School has many common areas that are not open to student use during lunch hours. If these areas were utilized, the lunch room would be less crowded, and students could find quieter places to eat their lunch and do their schoolwork at the same time.

“We have to yell across the table, it’s so loud,” sophomore Olivia Al-Shayeb said. She’s right; the noise in the cafeteria makes it very difficult to speak to your friends, and even harder to do anything productive. 

On the other hand, going into the Hub to get a head start on your homework or catch up on blended assignments means that you are unable to eat lunch, due to the strict policy of no food or drinks, just water. There is not a middle ground in the school for students to work quietly and eat their lunch at the same time. 

Areas at the end of the East Wing and West Wing could be opened up to students during lunch, and give them more options, instead of the standard, noisy cafeteria. If these zones were utilized during lunch, there would be less congestion in the passive commons and cafeteria.

“I wish we were able to eat in the East commons by the PAC,” student Presley Blake said. “Last year, it was easier to be able to snack on something and work on blended work in peace and quiet.”

However, there is a reason students are restricted from these areas. “The most obvious [reason] is trash. We need to do a better job of picking up after ourselves. Another reason is that if you were to get food on the floor, it also invites [bugs],” dean Alice Ohlinger said.

Students should take greater care to keep their spaces clean in the cafeteria. If other areas were open, they could not be trashed by students. If we want more places to eat, we have to prove that we can handle it.

Huntley’s common areas should be utilized by students during lunch in productive ways, which would reduce crowding the cafeteria and allow students to do work and eat simultaneously.