Short lunches cause schoolwide stress


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Many students at MSHS eat their lunch while doing homework.

Students at Manitou Springs High School want a longer lunch, here’s everything you need to know about the situation.

When balancing going off-campus for lunch, meeting with clubs, and simply eating, the time allotted is too short. As crucial as lunch is in a day, to re-energize, have a mental break from learning, or simply talk with friends, it seems that lunch should be a little longer.

There are many different options for lunch. Students go off campus for lunch, stay on campus, or have club and activity meetings. When talking with students, they share the struggles of all of these options. All groups of students, off-campus, on-campus, or clubs regardless of grade, share similar experiences with rushing Lunch, whether it’s going to get food off-campus or waiting in lines at the microwaves.

Going off-campus for lunch is one of the highlights of being in high school. However, it seems to be a struggle for students at Manitou Springs High School. Andrew Rhodes (11) said, “[Lunch] puts me in a rush, just to get my food quick enough to come back and eat. [And then it’s] very stressful, especially if you can’t find a parking spot and you have to park on the opposite side of the building. Sometimes you have a teacher that does not like you eating in their class, but you spent all your lunchtime going and getting food to not be able to eat it because you ran out of time.”

After extensive interviews and questionnaires, we talked with Charlotte Anderson, who stays on campus for Lunch, and asked her thoughts regarding the amount of time for Lunch, she stated, “I think when you’re staying on campus, it’s enough time, but if you want to leave campus it’s really short because we live in Manitou, which is a small town and so anywhere you want to go is pretty far away.”

This was a valid response that we heard from many students. Different students also shared that they stayed on campus to make sure their Lunch was simple. They did not have to worry about traffic, finding parking, or waiting in lines at restaurants.

Charlotte also shared her opinions on advisory as a potential solution to short Lunch, “I think that advisory is pretty pointless because it is so short as well, there’s no time to do homework because you get in [class], your teacher takes attendance and talks, then you get your stuff out, and advisory is over. So I think it would be helpful to shorten [advisory] and make it just a little rest period between classes. Fifteen minutes added to lunch, which would probably be helpful.” Although it gives an interesting perspective that we have heard from many students, it also helps share students’ overwhelming opinion about advisory being a “waste of time.”

Another interesting perspective is the teacher’s point-of-view for leading, directing, and having crucial meetings regarding clubs and activities during Lunch. Many clubs and activities vow to have their meetings at Lunch, as it is one of the only times all their members can meet. Students may have different obligations before and after school, leaving Lunch the perfect time for everybody to get together. Mrs. Gardner, the Knowledge Bowl advisor, shared, “It’s such a short duration, so trying to discuss things [is difficult.] By the time students pick up their Lunch and get here, it’s short.”

After finally finished our interviews, getting some answers and opinions from Mr. Hull, the MSHS principal. He shared his thoughts that, of course, we all would enjoy a long lunch, but it is not plausible with a mandated in-classroom time from the state. Hull said, “if we extended the lunch, we’d extend the school day.” Hull also spoke to the students and staff “The day of an hour lunch at work is, is something that’s not really around any longer, and we’re in the business of preparing students for college and career and, thirty-five minutes is an adequate amount of time for lunch.”