Cafeteria Critique

Maintaining a quality school environment, starting in the lunchroom

The Hoofbeat, Staff Editorial

With 100+ students packed in the cafeteria and Mustang center daily during lunch time, messes are inevitable, but as high school students, we should be mature enough to prevent clutter and clean up after ourselves to the best of our abilities.

At MN, huge messes are few and far between, while little things like left behind trays or wrappers on the ground are more common. 

Lunchroom monitors watch over the cafeteria during lunch and make sure students are acting in a civilized manner. Lately they have been noticing spills happening daily, and they don’t end up being cleaned up by the students themselves. 

As high school students, we are on our way to becoming adults, so picking up after ourselves should be simple, it also shows administration that we can be responsible. 

Lately, it’s been harder to maintain a cleaner school environment because of the current custodian shortage, so, to make their job a little easier, doing little things like bringing our trays up and pushing in our chairs should be the bare minimum. 

Cafeteria etiquette also extends to respecting lunchroom staff. Lunch monitors have been noticing a spike in foul language and talking back, but most of the time the students are let off without consequences. 

Even though the lunch monitors report this bad behavior to administrators, there are times when it gets dropped completely and they don’t end up facing the issue. By not addressing the student’s wrongs and sweeping it under the rug, the whole system can fall apart. 

Even though it’s only a small percentage of disrespectful behavior each lunch period, this small amount can be a source of anxiety that makes lunch monitors want to avoid the task altogether.

Some small ways of showing respect to lunchroom staff include using please and thank you when getting your food, greeting lunch monitors, and, overall, being kind to the staff. 

We need to remember that lunchroom staff are just trying to keep the cafeteria clean and orderly and we don’t need to make their job more demanding. 

To ensure a smooth lunchtime, there are expectations put in place for students to follow. The administrative team works with lunch monitors and custodians to discuss what problems have developed and possible solutions to be made. 

Students are expected to receive their lunch and remain seated in the cafeteria or Mustang Center.

Underclassmen are expected to stay in the Mustang Center or cafeteria during lunch. Students found in unauthorized areas at lunch may receive lunch detention or other disciplinary penalties. 

Students are expected to sit on a chair or bench, due to possible health concerns, eating on the floor is not permitted. 

During the last ten minutes of lunch, the administration asks that students stay in their area to ensure that the Mustang Center and cafeteria can be cleaned up for the next group of students.

Students are expected to leave their area the way they found it. Now that we’re experiencing a custodian shortage, students and staff are welcome to keep an eye out for anything that may be left behind on another table or things that have fallen on the floor. 

By showing the administrators and lunchroom staff that we are respectful in the Mustang Center and cafeteria, they will begin to trust students more and won’t need to put rules in place that will deter our lunchtime enjoyment. 

To maintain a school environment that we can be proud of, we are all responsible for cleaning up after ourselves and being respectful to those around us.