All students who eat lunch are familiar with this sight: caution tape bundling up chairs on top of a table. Walking into lunch the other day, I panicked as I saw that the table neighboring mine had been set off limits. The people who usually sit at the other table were now sitting at mine, so twice as many people ended up being crammed at a single table. Claustrophobically trying to eat my lunch in 23 minutes, I asked, “what is the point of this?”
I’m not exactly sure who sanctions these measures or why exactly it is done, but stacking up all of a table’s chairs and intensively wrapping them in caution tape seems rather counterproductive.
If it is supposed to punish a table for misconduct or leaving a mess, setting the table off limits fails to do that; often times, the people who get punished are not involved with the table that gets roped off, it’s the table next to them that gets their seats taken, the students who have to cram seats around, and, what bothers me most, the people in other blocks who have absolutely nothing to do with it.
The tape stays up for all four lunch periods, so everyone in the three other blocks is punished for no fault of their own. If someone in A block leaves a mess, students in B, C, and D are all left without a table. What’s the point of punishing people who do nothing wrong?
Limiting the number of tables in the cafeteria may even magnify the mess. With twice as many people at a single table, the mess becomes more concentrated.
This whole stance may be hypercritical, for this issue would be eliminated if students would just behave. That in mind, the sad reality is that trouble is bound to happen in the cafeteria.
It seems, however, that there are better ways to promote proper behavior and cleanliness in the lunchroom without taping up chairs, doing nothing about those who create the mess, and in the end punishing those who are not involved.
A solution to this problem would be to give warnings so the culprits have a chance to change their ways.
Next, they should check security tapes to ensure only the culprits are being punished, not the innocent.
Finally, they should have administrators prevents students from sitting at the table, not use yellow tape as this will ensure only the culprits in the correct lunch block will be punished.