• Valentina Barcello

Chair Shortage During Lunch

Have you ever been at lunch scouring the student center for an extra chair or a clean table? The short answer is likely an astounding yes. Nearly all students have had at least one experience desperately searching for a free table only to be confronted with filthy ones without chairs. This problem only worsens as the lunch waves progress each day. Unfortunately, constantly looking and asking for free chairs is not the only issue. Garbage-filled tables throughout the student center are also a huge component of this problem and are not currently being addressed by GHS administration. The Instagram account @ghs.embarassments chronicles the disgusting tables.

“It can be really annoying as there are countless times where my friends and I have nowhere to sit,” said Marina Lombardi, a fellow sophomore at Greenwich High. At one point, the GHS administration realized that we had an issue in the student center and finally took action by “incentivizing” students with gift cards and AirPods. Maybe we will begin to see a change after the closing of Gym A for lunch. In addition, On top of that, there has been a severe lack of chairs to accompany the tables. While it’s conveyed that the school has cared and will continue to care about the health of the students and staff, and the notable risk of contracting COVID-19, the immense amount of trash counters some, if not all, of the mitigation rules that have been put in place the past few months/this past year.

It is important to note that the dirty student center does not only affect the students, but it also affects the janitorial staff. Although it is their job to make sure our school stays clean, it is not their job to pick up food from the floor. Also, it is also the students’ job not to leave food on the floor. In regard to the school’s effort keeping the student center clean, Nicole Lasko noted, “In an effort to make finding space to eat during lunch more convenient for students, the school staff actually made it somewhat harder. Because of the lack of chairs in the student center, people fight over chairs and might even spend more time looking for a chair than actually eating. I've been to Gym A for lunch a few times with a friend- and there are so many chairs in there but only around 4 or 5 students.” It’s been noticed by countless students that those who have had fifth and now fourth lunch blocks are unlikely to locate a clean table or an empty chair; in fact, there have been times when people had no other choice but to eat standing at a dirty table or sitting underneath the stairs. Furthermore, let's not forget that the administration had to have Gym A up for lunch for a good amount of time. Adding to the past but also somewhat current issue of unused school resources, there are plenty of tables in front of the glass corridor, but they are all set up against the wall, which is very inconvenient instead of having them out on the concrete; there is also enough space around the school grounds for more tables.

Sometime in December of 2021, one of the administrators told a student I spoke to that they could not take a chair from one of the stacks. They had to put it back and were not allowed to have a chair. Overall, the chair issue in the student center has caused many other problems to erupt, including fights, incentives to show proper etiquette, and more work for the janitorial staff. As a student of GHS, I believe that the rest of the students should leave the student center the way they find it in the morning; if the messes keep getting worse and worse, the janitorial staff might have enough with how dirty some of us can be and eventually stop caring. While the opposite can happen with our administrators, they could change how our lunch waves work and become more strict. Even though these might not happen, we don't want any of them to occur so we should all take care of the student center, and leave it how we find it in the morning. If the possibility of losing our janitorial staff doesn't work, then our school will most likely go back to bribing us to throw out our trash. Do you want to be remembered as the students who were bribed to throw out their garbage?

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