Due to an overcrowding cafeteria, the Student Faculty Administration (SFA) passed a bill allowing food and providing cafeteria tables on Main Street for third lunch.
Senior Ian Reid, an SFA member, proposed the “Main Street bill” that planned to open Main Street and school entrances as designated hangout spaces for students. The bill passed at the end of the 2016-2017 school year but focused on lunch block as it was developed.
“We decided to focus the space on lunch block,” Reid said. “Lunch is overcrowded and we need somewhere for people to go. As of right now it’s just third lunch, but eventually we’re hoping to expand it to all lunches.”
According to principal Henry Turner, the topic of overcrowding has been present since the beginning of the school year with the temporary library closure. He acknowledged that even with the library open, the space can become overcrowded, and students can have trouble finding seats.
“Ian’s vision was for a hangout space, but the reality is that we have an overcrowded lunch space, so it kind of kills two birds with one stone,” Turner said. “We’re overcrowded during third lunch, there are not enough seats for kids to eat lunch, so we’re just concerned about when the weather is not nice and kids are not leaving school during lunchtime.”
Prior to the establishment of the new rule, students were allowed to sit on Main Street during third lunch, but no food or drink was allowed. According to Turner, this rule was in place due to a fear of littering and pests, but the administration’s position changed.
“We’ve found that without seats on Main Street, kids have gone to other parts of the building to eat and were being secretive, which is just not cleanly for the school,” Turner said. “We can actually manage it better if kids stay in one location.”
Reid explained that the need for hangout spaces is still present. According to Reid, SFA subcommittees will meet to select additional seating for Main Street to be used as a social space.
For Turner, future expansion of hang out spaces is possible provided good behavior. “This is a pilot —we’re just trying this for a month to assess it— but so long as kids are keeping the space clean, we can talk about what Main Street can look like outside of lunch blocks,” he said.