Seniors voice opinions on senior courtyard being opened to all grades

Cafeteria+in+C-Lunch

Credit: Thea Pipe

Cafeteria in C-Lunch

Thea Pipe, Staff Writer

Students flock into the fresh air of the courtyard across from the cafeteria everyday which has, up until now, been reserved for seniors. This year, however, it has been opened up to all grades as an eating space so as to avoid overcrowding in the cafeteria.

Principal Christopher Aguinaga said that the Courtyard was opened to “give students who were uncomfortable with eating in the cafeteria a space with open air.”

It was opened to everyone as an additional comfort during the COVID situation; however, for some seniors who thought it would be just for them, it may not be so comfortable.

According to the CDC, eating in public spaces in general is a risk for COVID transmission, that would include the school cafeteria. The CDC says that the best ways to curtail that increased risk other than just not eating in public is to be unmasked for as little time as possible and to have increased airflow either through ventilation systems or by eating outside.

That being said, some seniors have been waiting to eat in their courtyard since their freshman year. Now, they have to share it with the other students.

A poll of 53 out of the 297 seniors at the school showed that 66% of seniors dislike the opening of the courtyard, even if they “understand the reason behind it,” in the words of senior Claire Goodwin-Kelly.

Senior Gina Bello said, “It’s called Senior Courtyard for a reason … I don’t think the freshmen and sophomores are mature or have worked enough for it.”

Other seniors, like Keng Wee, feel as Bello does. Wee said, “It was like the one thing we had to ourselves.”

The courtyard has been opened for a very serious reason of public health for our students. It is being used as an eating space to help combat the spread of COVID in our school.

Yet, even with these very important reasons, it was originally a courtyard for the seniors. Many seniors this year were here when it was just for seniors, and remember waiting for the privilege to eat in it. So it is only natural that even if they understand the reasons for opening it up, some are upset by it.