The Past, Present, and Future of Outdoor Lunch

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BY STEPHANIE RENNER

The beautiful September sky does not have a cloud in sight. The sun shines brightly on the city of Cincinnati with a slight, subtle breeze. While the elements are perfectly aligned outdoors, the students at Mariemont High School are cooped up inside, unable to enjoy the end of summer weather before winter settles in.

Eating lunch outside used to be a regular occurrence at Mariemont. When Dr. Renner, an alum and the current principal at the high school, walked the halls, the opportunity for students to eat lunch outdoors was open to them daily.

“I never ate outside,” says Renner, “There were too many bugs.” Even though he did not take part in it, the option was available for him. Every day of the 2016-2017 school year thus far, the outside lunch option has been off the tableand students have stayed indoors despite the recent weather.

Junior girls at lunch, Hannah Coates, Danielle Bryan, Molly Mysogland, Lindsay Stricker, Sophie Borgerding, Chloe Reavill, and Abby Dodson, put their heads down and dream about the eighty-degree, sunny weather outside that they are missing. (PHOTO BY RENNER)

Junior girls at lunch, Hannah Coates, Danielle Bryan, Molly Mysogland, Lindsay Stricker, Sophie Borgerding, Chloe Reavill, and Abby Dodson, put their heads down and dream about the eighty-degree, sunny weather outside that they are missing. (PHOTO BY RENNER)

Mrs. Tackett, guidance counselor for underclassmen and head of Campus Life, is the main decision maker and supervisor for outdoor lunch.

“Outdoor lunch will happen when the weather is nice and when we are able to procure teacher or adult supervision for the students,” she says. “Campus Life works hard to try and find the needed supervision when the weather is nice,” she says.

Tackett also predicted that outdoor lunch would likely happen on a regular basis in the spring, towards the end of the school year and estimates that it will happen twice a week when the weather is nice.

One staff member who will not be supervising outdoor lunch is Mr. Block. His lunchtime duties include supervising students in the cafeteria.

“It makes my job in the lunchroom a lot easier,” he says about the commons when students go outside for lunch. Even though Block has a role of supervising students, he has no say in the decision over outdoor lunch.

“I am fine with it, but it is a privilege, so students have to be respectful,” he says.

Students are excited about the option of going outside for lunch.

“I like outdoor lunch because it gives us a chance to get sunshine,” says sophomore Payton Megowen. “There are not enough windows in the school to let it in.”

Senior Wilson Bucher was openly upset with the issue. “I’m aggravated that we haven’t done it yet this year. The best weather is going to waste,” he says.

In the near future, changes are in store that will fix the issue preventing students from having the option for outdoor lunch.

“The Mariemont High School Futures Team is a group of parents and teachers that is looking to build a new school in the near future,” says Renner. He also mentioned that the team is heavily in favor of constructing a space for outdoor lunch for the new school.

“The bad news,” says Renner, “is that no one currently in the high school right now will benefit from it.” A new school is just an idea now. It is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.