Off-Campus Lunch Policy Sparks Safety Concerns

Students crossing the road to go to 7-11.

Students crossing the road to go to 7-11.

Students driving off campus to get lunch.

Sophomores going off campus for lunch is a new change, and with change comes thoughts from many students and staff. Why did we switch to allowing sophomores to go off campus? “It’s due to the pandemic and we needed more room in the cafeteria and allowing sophomores, if they choose, to open up more space in the cafeteria,” Dean Brian Martin said. Last year during covid, all of the students were allowed to go off campus, which is another reason sophomores are now allowed to go off campus. Since they were allowed off campus last year, it made sense to let them go off campus again. Many students believe that these changes will stay, and they say they would be unhappy if it was to revert suddenly “Well sophomores would definitely  be mad and the cafeteria would be more crowded” said Junior Madison Strickland. Making lunch lines shorter and making the lunch room less crowded, is another benefit to allowing sophomores off campus. With the larger freshman class, the cafeteria is becoming more crowded, so allowing sophomores off campus helps make it less crowded. Students also have been going off campus to avoid the price of the food, as places serve it cheaper. With places being so close such as 7-11, it is even more worth it to just go across the road to eat. Many students are also hoping that next year it will stay the same, allowing this generation of freshmen to also be allowed to go off campus next year.

Students crossing the street to get to 7-11.

With sophomores being allowed off campus this year, it poses a question of more freshmen sneaking off campus due to the increased amount of students going off campus. “I mean honestly it’s pretty hard to tell a freshman from a sophomore because some of the freshman look older than me and I’m a senior so maybe they could sneak off,”  said Senior Katie Gehrmann. Many wonder if there is a safety issue with students sneaking off campus and how it affects security. “We haven’t had reports of any issues in the neighborhood or 7-11 where you know freshman would walk to or even sophomores, if they aren’t driving. So far it hasn’t affected my work load at all, security still monitors the students leaving and pretty much does the same role as before,” Dean Brian Martin said. These issues could arise if more and more freshmen begin to go off campus because their friends go off campus. With more students going off campus, crossing roads safely could become an issue as well. Students may jaywalk when crossing the road which presents an issue to drivers.  Because no issues have occurred so far, there is hope that these changes will stay permanently.