Lengthy Cafeteria Lines Pose a Threat to Limited Minutes of Lunch Period

Kendra Lennon

Lunch time is a precious 40 minutes. It is a time for eating, socializing, making up tests, attending clubs and visiting teachers. Unfortunately, the time it takes to get through the lunch line wastes a majority of those minutes.

RHS has four lunch lines in the cafeteria. However, only three of them are open for business. With most of the students trying to get lunch at the same time, crowding into the only available lines, each line is longer than it could be. Unless you are one of the lucky few to make it to the front of the line in the beginning, it takes a long time, often the majority of the period, to get your food.

The purpose of every student having lunch at the same time is so that students can get help from teachers and host clubs. However, these things often take place at the beginning of the period, and could also take up the whole lunchtime. Unless you bring your lunch, you are faced with a choice.

This issue is not unique to RHS.

“If you’ve got to take a test, you’re not going to get lunch or you’re not going to finish your test. It’s one of the two,” Clarksburg HS senior Julia Phillips said.

Clarksburg HS has about 600 more students than RHS, and despite having six lunch lines, the students there take 15 minutes out of their 30 minute period to get food. The situation is similar here. The lines are long, and there is hardly time to eat your food let alone go do other important things.

“To go from the pillar to the door, it normally takes about five minutes,” RHS cafeteria manager Alexandra Phillips said.

That may be true for the kids in classes immediately adjacent to the cafeteria, such as gym or even art. But students who come from the other side of the building, or two floors up, have to deal with everyone else in the school getting in line first.

“I have tried to get to the cafeteria as early as possible to get my lunch at a reasonable time. I still end up waiting about 15 minutes,” sophomore Caroline Oa��Neill said.

Though we have four lines, only three are open, so that the lines that we have can be adequately staffed.

If there were more students, opening the fourth line would be justified, but currently three lines are all that is available for hungry students. So, another solution to streamline the process is needed. Luckily, the solution is as simple as time management.

“The one thing that we’re recommending is that you go to your teacher first, get what you need done for the first 10, 15 minutes,” Alexandra Phillips said. “Then when you come here there’s absolutely no line.”

Unfortunately, the lines are long, people cut in line and lunch passes are no longer accepted. People find it easy to complain, but the best thing we can do is accept that the lines are as fast as they can be. It is important that we figure out ways that work for each of us individually, in order for us to do what we need to and still get fed.