Why Only One Lunch Period?

Why Only One Lunch Period?

Alex Carlin, News Editor

All students here at Enochs are accustomed to only having one lunch period for everyone to share, that being 5th period. This has been the case for the entire high school career of all students here, so we don’t really know any different. However, take one look outside during lunch and it’s evident how crowded it is with close to 2,500 students all taking their breaks to eat at the same time. With lunch lines spanning as long as they do and seeing students scramble to get tables quickly before they inevitably run out it raises the question, why is there only one lunch period? Would students here at Enochs benefit from having 2 lunch periods, one 4th period and one 5th? What would the potential drawbacks be?

The benefits of separating lunch are very easy to see, especially for those who get lunch here at school. In a survey conducted with 81 students, 65 reported having to wait over 10 minutes for lunch at some point, 53 of those over 20 minutes, 23 of those over 30 minutes, and 9 of them said they had to wait the entire period at some point. This is absurd, and absolutely a cause for concern for students here. Many students are having the only designated break time in the day be drastically reduced due to having to wait in line, which is somewhat inevitable for nearly 2,500 people trying to eat at once. Cutting the population trying to eat at once in half and splitting it into two classes would help this problem greatly, and would reduce lines greatly. 

The other benefit that is easy to see is that it would instantly help the problem of lack of seating space. In a one lunch period system with everyone eating at once, there are not enough places to sit for all the students. This leaves there to be a scramble type of thing where either you cannot find a spot at all or people that do have spots often get them taken due to people getting there first who do not have their own. Jason Woods, also of the Eagle Eye, reported that his lunch spot has been taken over 10 times over the past year, and that this is absolutely a major inconvenience to him. The addition of a second lunch period would most likely make this much less of a problem if not fully eliminate it. There would be tables for most everyone if not everyone if the number of people eating at once was cut in half. This would be of great benefit to everyone here, especially those who have had trouble finding a place to eat in the past.

Of course, there are some potential drawbacks in the idea for multiple lunches. The first obvious one being split up with friends potentially and not being able to eat lunch with each other. However, this can be fixed for the most part with a system in which fourth period lunch is freshman and sophomores exclusively, and fifth period lunch is juniors and seniors only. Of course, there are people that have friends in different classes and in this case this isn’t of much help to them unfortunately but most people would probably be alright with this system. The issue that would most likely be more pressing is people having 3 classes after lunch again. Sitting through 3 periods again after lunch before getting to go home from school is a struggle and absolutely will be an issue again if a 2 lunch system is brought back. Are we too used to having only 2 classes after lunch that switching it to 3 will be too difficult for those that would have to? 

The idea of switching to two lunches is definitely an intriguing one. It’s an idea that draws clear benefits and some drawbacks, some of which are more impactful than others. So that brings up the questions, are shorter lunch lines worth it for those who would have to go to 3 classes after lunch? Is more table availability worth it for those who have friends in other grades? And of course, should we switch to a 2 lunch system?