Long lunch lines lead to students’ irritation over waiting times

Junior+Remy+Kakebeen+%28left%29+reacts+to+students+going+ahead+of+her+at+the+Roundhouse+Feb.+26.+Kakebeen+is+one+of+many+students+who+noticed+the+increased+amount+of+cutting+in+school+break+and+lunch+lines.+

Rebekah Kim

Junior Remy Kakebeen (left) reacts to students going ahead of her at the Roundhouse Feb. 26. Kakebeen is one of many students who noticed the increased amount of cutting in school break and lunch lines.

Nevya Patel

Since the state provided free on-campus meals starting in 2021-2022 for break and lunch, Sunny Hills students are noticing longer lines to get food – one reason being friends allowing a group of others to cut in front of those who’ve been waiting.

“You walk in line, and you wait for a few minutes, and then the person in front of you lets one friend cut in front of them, then another, and eventually five people in front of you turn into 20,” said junior Remy Kakebeen, who started getting school lunch this year. “It’s especially annoying when you get into the lunch line knowing that you have somewhere to be within the next few minutes, like a club meeting.”

Senior Kaitlin Punu, a first-timer getting lunch on campus similar to Kakebeen, usually keeps her frustration to herself but took the liberty to voice her opinion once. 

“It’s unfair and I get mad,” said Punu, “Students were cutting and one of the cafeteria workers came around to tell them to stop. I was annoyed so I yelled ‘Yeah’ at the people who skipped ahead in line.”

Although the lines are long during both break and lunch, the students who cut usually show up during the longer lunch period, Punu said.

So far, none of the students The Accolade spoke to have said they addressed the issue with school officials, but they think that adding adult supervision at the Roundhouse would be a realistic solution.

“It’s difficult to tell since there are so many people and so many ways for missed calls or incorrect calls in a crowded situation such as the lunch lines,” Kakebeen said. 

Cafeteria workers also wish the situation were different; they noted the problem mainly occurring at the Roundhouse, which has no railings to direct students to stay in line beyond a certain point.

“What I would really love is someone to monitor the lunch lines,” said Christina Dominquez, one of the cafeteria workers at the Roundhouse. “It’s only us lunch ladies here, and there’s no one to supervise the students or the cutting that happens.”

It’s only us lunch ladies here, and there’s no one to supervise the students or the cutting that happens.”

— Christina Dominquez

Despite no students reporting this problem to administration, interim principal Cathy Gach said that she looked into the situation last week and noticed a few students trying to sneak into the front of the line. 

“Part of the problem is that the kids behind them are too polite and let them do it,” Gach said. “If [only] someone actually said, ‘Hey, don’t cut in line,’ but they were timid and just let them do it. So I talked to a few of [the cutters] but that doesn’t help.”

As of this month, a campus supervisor has only been placed at the cafeteria but Gach said she would look into placing someone at the Roundhouse as well.

However, students appreciate Gach’s willingness to assess the situation and find a solution.

“I greatly appreciate that,” Kakebeen said. “I’m glad that she’s decided to take action and see what can be done about the issue. Of course, no single supervisor can be expected to look everywhere at once, but kids take advantage of that fact.”