When I first heard about the “no-eating-on-the-floor rule, I was shocked and annoyed. Last year, I spent a good portion of my lunches sitting on the floor in the front lobby. Even then, however, I would complain to friends about the conditions of our preferred lunch area.
By the end of last year, every lunch block marked a migration of students to the front lobby. It was practically impossible to walk on the rug without stepping on someone, or at least stepping on someone’s food.
The front lobby had become a cafeteria unto itself; it was crowded, loud, and contained a ridiculous number of french fries. At the end of each long block, the mob would leave to go to their classes, but their food would remain.
A similar pattern arose in the area just outside the cafeteria in the direction of the art hallway. Maybe I’m just a neat freak, but I always found it slightly annoying to have to sidestep trash and leftover lunches on my way to class. I practically live in the art hallway, which is why it’s much nicer when there’s no semicircle of students blocking its entrance, no pile of food on the floor that seems to have just missed the trash can.
Most of us are at least 14 years old. If we’ve been taught to clean up after ourselves since we were in preschool, that means we’ve known how to get rid of any messes we make for at least ten years.
At this point, there isn’t really a good reason why we shouldn’t be able to eat neatly and make sure all our food stays off the floor. If we can’t even do that, then there is a good reason to prevent us from eating on the floor in the first place.
We’ve been taught to clean up after ourselves since we were in preschool.
At home, I never eat on the floor. But I know that my mom would be justifiably angry at me if I got food on our living room rug, as our school administrators are when we embed our lunches in the rug of the lobby.
I’m not the only one who doesn’t like to eat in the cafeteria, so it’s probably a good thing that there is now a rule in place that prevents us all from extending the cafeteria’s noise and mess beyond its doors.
And the rule prevents no one from going outside for some fresh air during lunch, stops no science students from eating in class during lab blocks, prohibits no music geeks from using a lunch to get a quick theory lesson from Mr. Youngman (I speak from experience).
The policy isn’t meant to decrease our liberty and make sure we’re always supervised. It’s meant to teach about respect and responsibility, those two magic words we’ve been hearing about since forever ago.
We need to respect the space we’re in and be responsible for keeping it clean. If we can’t do that for whatever reason, then we can eat somewhere else.]]>