The only place more exclusive than the boat: the hallway

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The only place more exclusive than the boat: the hallway

Students enjoy lunch outside Commons

Students enjoy lunch outside Commons

Anna Coyle

Students enjoy lunch outside Commons

Anna Coyle

Anna Coyle

Students enjoy lunch outside Commons

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Eating lunch seems like the easiest task of the school day; it’s a break in the day to relax and hang out with friends. However, at Aspen High School, lunchtime turns into a much more complicated ordeal. The lack of seating and space in the main lunchroom leads to much bigger problems than what your mom packed you for lunch or who you should sit with. For students at AHS, the pressures of finding an empty seat in the overly full Commons or even just the intimidation of such a large amount of people in one place can force some into the hallways and beyond.

Aspen High School houses a student body of over 500 youth. With so many kids attending AHS, spaces to eat are limited. Especially during lunch or Access, not all inhabitants of the school have a place to sit in the Commons. Overflow of students spill into the hallway, library, and basement by the gym. With only 200 seats and 50 tables in the Commons, students have no choice but to spend lunch elsewhere.

This lack of space due to the school’s architecture leads to an unwanted divide within the student body. The separation between the students who chose to sit outside the Commons and those inside is very evident. For instance not-so-nice nicknames for those seated outside the Commons like “Children of the Halls” and “Hallway Gang” are common to hear. Stereotypes also unfortunately emerge. Most kids who choose to sit in the hallway say they sit outside because it gives a more relaxed or quiet environment, but a common misconception is that they are social outcasts or not well-liked. Few students who sit in the Commons truly have an idea of why these groups sit in the hallway.

Andie Sherman, a freshman, is one of the few students in the school who has a decent understanding of her fellow peers who opt out of sitting in the Commons, but there is still a disconnect between the true reason people sit in the hallway and what some think.

“[I feel like] those kids don’t feel welcome in the cafeteria, so they sit out there because they feel its a safer environment,” said freshmen Andie Sherman.

Junior Ella Joseph is likely to be found in the hallway with her friends at lunch. Her unique perspective gives insight into the full reason she, among others, sits in the hallway.

“[I think] the Commons is too crowded, and my friends are out here. I like [that] it’s nice, it’s quiet,” Joseph explained.

The issue with seating in the high school is a prevalent, but unacknowledged, controversy at AHS. The student body of the school regrettably does not give this problem the attention that it needs. This could be due to the fact that it is easier to just label rather than understand. This issue of seating causing social divide is so large and widespread that solving it is not a simple task. However, shedding light on the problem might just be the first step in the right direction.

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