Miramonte freshmen seek their place on campus

Limited tables, crowded space make lunch a challenge


Kristin Parker

This is just one of many lunch areas around the Miramonte campus where freshmen are overcrowded and forced to stand; having their own quad would resolve this.

There is nothing more intimidating than being at the bottom of the food chain when entering high school, but figuring out where to sit at lunch is an additional stress factor that no freshman wants to endure. 

The four to five tables that are currently in the freshman area at Miramonte High School barely make a dent in an uncomfortable situation. What freshmen need is a place of their own. The school should designate the grass area outside the girls locker room and ‘70s halls as the “freshmen quad.”

Excluding the Senior Lawn, there are 46 tables on the quad that fit six people comfortably. That makes 276 places to sit at a table when about 900 students need to share. According to a poll on Instagram, 70 percent of Miramonte freshmen do not have a table to sit at. Sophomores and juniors take the majority of the tables, forcing the freshmen to find another spot. 

While there are a handful of benches around school, no student wants to balance their lunch on their knees, where they can only talk to the people directly on either side of them. By converting the unused grass outside the ‘70s halls and girls locker room into an area for the freshman during lunch, they will have a comfortable place to sit and not worry about finding space.

“We’ve ordered twenty more of these square tables [standard green tables found around the quad and on the senior lawn]. Hopefully that will help ease some of the problems that we’re having because everyone has to eat outside this year,” principal Ben Campopiano said.

 The tables can take anywhere from one to a couple of months to arrive due to being back-ordered. Although it seems like adding more tables to the quad should work, there is already limited space for all grades and, inevitably, the freshmen once again would be squeezed out of the opportunity to have a table. 

“Unless they bolted down the tables, I think they would be taken pretty fast. They would be picked up and brought to the junior or sophomore areas,” Miramonte freshman Eva Crinks said. 

To combat this, the new tables must be moved to a different location, only for the freshman.

Instead of going through the effort of bolting down tables, which the administration is working on, putting them in a newly designated place would eliminate table movement by making it more difficult for older students to move the tables. 

“I would prefer having a freshmen section for lunch over more tables in the quad because eating lunch and sharing a space with upperclassmen can be very intimidating, and the amount of people in the quad can be overwhelming,” freshman Emma Romweber said.

Transitioning from middle school to high school is a huge adjustment for any student. When becoming familiar with a new campus, navigating classes, and learning the nuances of high school, having a consistent place to sit at lunch can help ease the stress of an already hectic environment.

 “If freshmen had the option to eat separately, it would give us a way to feel comfortable and relieve the stress of eating around the rest of the school,” Romweber said.

The biggest concern freshmen express about creating a “freshmen quad” is potentially feeling excluded from activities that happen on the quad. 

“The only thing is just we would kind of miss out whenever there is action there,” Crinks said.

 Frankly, not much goes on during lunch most days, except for a few times of month, when Leadership hosts activities for spirit days. A quick walk would easily solve this for any freshman interested in seeing what is happening. Additionally, the freshmen quad would be located closer to where freshmen usually have classes and provide space for spikeball games and other pick-up lunchtime sports with the basketball courts so nearby. This very simple solution will accommodate the needs of the freshmen and create a more fun, and less stressful school environment.

Having a safe space to roam around for underclassmen is a perfect way to solve the table issue. This new environment would be perfect for younger students. There must be an additional seating area where freshmen can relax and enjoy their lunch to combat the seating problem that is prevalent on campus.