Open campus lunch proposal has potential to set precedent for student choice

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Photo by Bill Alexon

Sad, partially empty blue lunch trays have been the norm for too long.

Columbia Heights has a vast array of restaurants in close proximity to CHHS. Why should we be restricted to chicken patties and pizza?

Open campus lunch could be a time for students to leave the discomforting hallways and classrooms of school, not to mention the claustrophobic cafeteria, to get food that they want to eat.

Students can use open campus lunch to learn time management and get a taste of what life will be like as an adult. When or if students attend college they won’t be restricted to eating just what’s in the cafeteria, but will be able to travel to local restaurants to purchase the food of their choice. Students will also be able to utilize their time off during a busy day and eat food that, although may not be the healthiest, will make students feel nourished and help them better prepare to learn for the rest of the day.

“I think that seniors should be able to get open campus lunch, because after so many years school lunch gets tiring and doesn’t taste the same,” Fernando Castelan (12) said. “And since it’s the last year I don’t see any problem with it.”

Open campus lunch for the sake of simplicity should be only for seniors with a valid driver’s license and that everyone who participates should be susceptible to punishment. A big concern would be motor accidents and fights that might break out between students during this time, and safety is something that should always be considered when creating policies especially regarding students, but for the sake of the students, we shouldn’t ignore this opportunity in the name of unproven hypotheticals.

Any problems that might occur, whether it be fighting, students not returning to campus on time, or other issues, could and should be punishable either by being marked truant or unexcused, or with whatever disciplinary action is deemed appropriate by administration. For instance, at Edina Senior High School, if you fail to abide by the open campus lunch rules put in place for juniors and seniors, your privilege to leave campus during lunch could be revoked, and they use normal attendance policies to mark you absent if you don’t show back up at school.

Whether you’d pick to stay in the school’s cafeteria or get a buddy or two and drive down 49th towards the grandiose selection of restaurants on Central Avenue, I think we can all agree that the age of a sad blue lunch tray with a sandwich and three cherry tomatoes should be over.