The new lunch periods and entryways


Photo by Kirstin Palasz

The new exit for the Student Center

Bia Leffingwell and Kirstin Palasz

Those who have been at LFA for at least one year know the most efficient ways around our large campus. However, due to COVID-19, everything has been adjusted on campus including our lunch schedules, classrooms and walkways. 

The walkways have been a particular challenge, as they are now one-way all throughout the buildings. The doors around campus have also been changed to one-way entrances and exits. 

The purpose in creating these walkways was to help lower the amount of traffic in each hallway. Chris Dozois, History & Social Science Teacher, and Adam Gerber, Senior Associate Dean of Admission-Director of International Admission, planned these walkways. Dozios mentioned, “If we have people walking towards each other, that’s a really bad thing because even with masks on we’re passing air droplets to each other.” The whole process took about a month to perfect for the beginning of school.

So far, the walkways have done a good job at keeping traffic one way, but for most students it has been very inconvenient. Walking from the history wing to the language wing is more complicated now instead of walking down the hallway. It requires going down the stairs near the circle then continuing all the way around to senior square doors. Another way is to leave by the seminar rooms and go to the door across from the stairs in corbin. Transitions from class to class like this occur all around campus; what used to be an easy transition has become an extra 5 minutes. Although the walkways were tested, there is no perfect way that is convenient for students. No matter which way the walkway faced, there would still be disruption in the students walkways to class. 

With the extra time it takes to get to classes, there is now a built in passing period.Even with these passing periods, the stress of figuring out how to get to your next class still is a factor. It is exhausting walking around campus back and forth and thinking about how to get to the next class.  This mental drain may improve halfway through the day with a bit of lunch and relaxing time in the Student Union, but we have also been stripped of that luxury. 

Our food options are heavily restricted, as are our times to eat food. The options on the menu are prepackaged meals, as opposed to our previous lunch situation, where we could make our own meal. Now, we are not entitled to a spectacular array of food groups, but there are better options than a veggie sandwich. 

Both the salad bar and the sandwich bar are not open anymore, which is incomprehensible. Before the Coronavirus struck, the Student Union was still arranged very similarly: there were staff behind glass with the foods, all wearing gloves, and handing us our sandwich orders. There is potential to implement a similar system in the lunchroom that ensures safety for each individual. In conjunction with a very limited food supply, we also have a very limited amount of time to receive our lunches. 

With many students scheduling meetings during lunch periods or breaks (when they may not have a lunch period), the idea of a designated 20-minute block per student can quickly become frustrating. Lines reach out of the Student Union, and some kids have reported turning away for being even a slight 5 minutes early. Of course it is important to take the virus into consideration, but this is a bit absurd. The idea seems institutional and the tight leash that has been put on students is becoming increasingly tiring. 

While the LFA community may find flaws in our new system, each member is still grateful for the opportunity we have been given to be in school. There are so many people who work hard on ensuring that our school day goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible.