Bringing New (Seating) Ideas to the Table

New lunch tables in the North Gym spark controversy among students


Jinsil Yearm

Tables are stored by the gym before students go to lunch

Traditionally, eating lunch in the bleachers of the North Gym was the norm for sophomore and freshmen students. However, as students filed into the North Gym on December 5, they were surprised at what awaited them. Instead of the usual bleachers, students were greeted by eight new lunch tables. 

The goal of adding the tables was to give students a variety of options to eat during their lunch period, and in turn, also improve the division of the two grades sitting on the opposite sides of the gym. Assistant principal Robert Hyman stated, “there are no rules saying where [sophomores and freshmen] should sit,” therefore, we made it so that each side–the sophomore and freshman side–have an option: half tables, half bleachers.” 

The new tables also brought about a fix to the lasting concern of after-lunch cleanup. While that was not the initial intention of the tables, they do limit the amount of garbage left over. Hyman said, “cleanup and messes have definitely been improved with fewer people in bleachers and more people on tables.” 

Custodian Joanne Bland agreed saying, “it makes the clean-up much easier, quicker, and cleaner.” She added, “the garbage is more visible and kids can’t slide their garbage under the table.” 

Along with the new tables came new rumors that circulated wrong information. While some believed the tables were a temporary punishment for leaving messes behind after lunch, others thought they were going to permanently replace the bleachers as a new method for eating in the gym. This sparked a divide between the opinions of those who like the change to the lunch setting and those who don’t. 

Freshman Jessica Jung, for example, believes they should be removed because “there are only a certain number of people the tables can fit.” She went on to say, “while the gym is easier to clean because of them, they exclude some students and don’t allow everyone to sit with their friends.”

On the other hand, sophomore Remy Barker has a positive outlook on the tables. She sees the tables as an easier way to eat comfortably and talk to friends. She said, “I think that they are very reasonable, and are an improvement from the bleachers, with the exception that there are not enough seats for everyone who wants to eat lunch [at the tables].”

The new lunch tables, although controversial among students have brought significant changes to the lunch environment of the North Gym, and as of right now, do not seem to be going anywhere.