Although there is a mutual consensus that the new lunch plan has had a plethora of benefits, the question of whether or not we should preserve the tradition of sit-down lunch still lingers. Overall, from my interviews with various students around the school, I found that there are some that believe that there are benefits to sit-down lunch, some who do not believe it to be a key part of Belmont Hill, and still others who outright reject sit-down lunch. Ultimately, no one I interviewed believed that sit-down lunch is integral to Belmont Hill, leaving me to conclude that sit-down lunch is no longer needed and is not an inherent or important part of Belmont Hill tradition.
The first group of students that I interviewed believed that, although there are inherent benefits in sit-down lunch, it is ultimately unnecessary. Mark Price ‘24 observed that, while, “sit down-lunch provides an opportunity to learn etiquette and other life skills. To be honest…I don’t really think it’s that important.” Ernest Lai ‘25 declared “I like the new lunch plan better than the traditional sit-down lunch, but I can understand why some would like to keep it; I understand the tradition behind it.” Many supporters of the tradition cite teachers like Mr. Martin, Mr. Sweeney, and the youngster Mr. DeCap, enforcing strict sit-down lunch rules and highlighting the importance of etiquette. Many believe that those lessons are what is lost in changing from sit-down lunch to the new walkthrough lunch schedule, however, they ultimately believe that the more open and fluid schedule is a massive benefit.
Numerous students simply reject the idea that sit-down lunch has any significance to school culture. Kevin Weldon ‘24, stated, “I think that walk-through lunch is a much more time-efficient and sustainable option.” Anthony Galvagna ‘24 elaborated: “I like the new lunch system so much more than the other one (sit-down lunch). I just think it fits my schedule so much better and that sit-down lunch was too rigid.” Overall, many students did not find that sit-down lunch yielded important life lessons, but that it limited their freedoms and opportunities to get work done before athletics. They value the flexibility to eat lunch during X block and have a longer study hall in the afternoon.
In conclusion, although there is some dissent and disagreement about the benefits of sit-down lunch, there is a mutual consensus that the new walk-through lunch schedule is a big improvement.