Upperclassmen Long for a Breather of Open Campus at Lunch

mialeibold

Junior Nic Aranda brings in his Taco Bell after leaving campus for an appointment. Students are only allowed into and out of the building with permission from parents or administrators. Photo taken by Mia Leibold

Loy Norrix High School is known for having beautiful student courtyards and windows, providing students with a natural ambiance as they walk from class to class. Although the environment at Loy Norrix is wonderful for learning within the classroom, open campus lunch would benefit the student body outside of the class. The topic of opening campus for Loy Norrix students has been brought up each year that I’ve been here. However, the discussion is often left unconcluded. In the rare case that a student does leave for lunch they are reminded that it is against the rules. In most cases, students know that we are not allowed to leave campus during the school day.

Security guard Jacqeline Hampton has mixed feelings about an open campus policy.

Hampton, one of the tower guards, believes that if students heard about a change of rules, they would begin to leave campus when they shouldn’t be.

Two main factors that go hand-and-hand with opening campus for students are responsibility and maturity. “They are not mature enough,” said Hampton, referring to underclassmen. The largest responsibility that students have at Loy Norrix is attending class, on time; everyday. It is not a secret that allowing students to leave campus is also a huge responsibility and could potentially disrupt the learning process.  Open campus lunch for Loy Norrix students could result in more absences during the school year.

Principal Johnny Edwards of Loy Norrix holds students accountable for their own education. Edwards expects the best from each of the students and wants them to be successful in any way possible. He worries that by opening campus to students, it could increase the likelihood of students skipping afternoon classes, resulting in loss of credit, or worse, the chance to graduate.

It would be nice to have the chance to prove that we, as students, are capable of leaving campus and returning safely and on time.

Senior Brianna Leip believes that “It would be easier to go home for lunch, let alone cheaper.” Many students with cars that have the ability to leave campus for lunch would agree.

The current principal at Portage Central High School, Eric Alburtis, is very proud of the policies in which the Mustangs abide by.

“Most of our students make great choices,” said Alburtis. The ability to leave for lunch is granted to only juniors and seniors at both high schools. Portage Central students and staff along with their counterpart Portage Northern, had to appeal to the school board for the right to have open campus at lunch. Having the responsibility to leave campus for the short thirty-five minutes of lunch is something that many high school students in Portage are grateful for.

Portage Public Schools run grade and attendance checks before they grant their upperclassmen with a sticker on their ID badge. While wearing the badge around their neck, students with the permitted sticker are allowed to exit and reenter the building. The Tower, as well as the Gate House in front of Loy Norrix are both places in which ID badges could be checked. This system would allow administrators to safely monitor who is exiting and entering the building at all times.

Loy Norrix students would enjoy the opportunity to get off campus for lunch, coming back to class refreshed and ready to learn. Alburtis has a similar philosophy at Portage Central High School, “We all need to get out for a breather,” he said.