No more mystery meat: Juniors should have off-campus lunch

You know the feeling — the smell of cafeteria food makes you rethink whether you should step inside the cafeteria. Meanwhile, the surplus of restaurants around Lincoln Park taunts you.

Many students would favorably argue that all Lincoln Park High School students should be able to go off-campus for lunch. Although Seniors have the opportunity to go out for lunch off-campus, the other three-fourths of the school cannot. Off-campus lunch is a privilege that Lincoln Park Seniors have, but what about other grades?

Since having off-campus lunch comes with responsibility for the school and students, a compromise could possibly be made. Granting all students the privilege of off-campus lunch might cause too much chaos. But allowing Juniors and Seniors to go out for lunch could be a great start.

Many other schools around the city allow Juniors off-campus such as Jones College Prep, Lane Tech, and Whitney Young. Whitney Young and Lane Tech even allow freshmen to go off-campus. An additional compromise could be that Juniors have to apply for off-campus lunch and meet certain requirements in order to earn it. This could include having a 3.0 GPA or higher, fewer than 10 tardies, or no detentions.

Some might be hesitant to allow Juniors off-campus but here are a few compelling reasons. Many teachers might believe allowing Juniors off-campus could lead to chaos. However Juniors are upperclassmen, like Seniors, and have enough experience in the school as well as around the neighbor to be responsible during lunch time. Shouldn’t they receive the same privileges as Seniors? Besides, there’s not much of a gap between the maturity of Juniors and Seniors. Lincoln Park is also considered a very safe neighborhood in Chicago — students would be unlikely to be put into any mortal danger.

Allowing more students to go off-campus would create more room in the busy lunch rooms. Especially during the hot weather when the lunch room gets stuffy. Additionally, Lincoln Park’s cafeteria is very loud, making it hard for students to get their work done. Students could find a quiet and peaceful spot to eat lunch while doing work off-campus.

Other high schools in the suburbs of Chicago have fought for Juniors to have off-campus lunches such as Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, IL. Dundee-Crown students went as far as presenting their argument to the District 300 board about this issue with very compelling ideas according to Erin Sauder, a Chicago Tribune journalist.

An open-campus for Lincoln Park Juniors is a reasonable goal that could one day be accomplished. The next time you smell grilled chicken from the cafeteria, remember what possibilities could lie outside the school campus.

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