DGS students cram into each other trying to get their school lunches and check out in sporadic lines.
DGS students cram into each other trying to get their school lunches and check out in sporadic lines.
Maya Homberg

Lunch lines ‘eat up’ space

A third of DGS students share a lunchtime, making the commons and cafetorium fully populated during fourth, fifth and sixth period. Students line up behind the various food options in the cafetorium, at the Stable or at the cafe. The severe crowding that results from these lines has caused problems for students trying to get lunch efficiently.

Senior Maddie Hahn buys lunch several times a week and often ends up going with whatever food has the shortest line rather than picking what she really wants.

“I think the longest I have ever waited would be like five to seven minutes. Normally if I am waiting too long, I leave or just grab something else,” Hahn said.

Security guards have been trying to regulate the lines and keep crowding under control by telling students that they need to leave if they aren’t purchasing lunch. Hahn’s friends usually go with her when she gets her lunch, but lately they haven’t been able to stay if they aren’t buying food.

“Because the wait is so long, I normally go up with friends and the last couple of times, especially on block days, my friends have been yelled at and kicked out,” Hahn said.

DGS Head of Security Paul Lichamer discussed security’s efforts at keeping students from overcrowding the lunch areas.

“In the beginning of the year, we put in some signage and some stanchions to try and control the flow, but since then Chartwells [catering] made a couple of changes to where they place their food in the food [distribution] and kind of moved the stanchions around themselves. Apparently students just want to stay with their friends even if they’re not ordering food, and it just adds to the congestion and noise there, and it’s hard to supervise that; you don’t know who’s ordering and who’s not,” Lichamer said.

Despite the administration’s best efforts, students still feel as though there is too much crowding, and it takes too long to get their lunches. Junior Payton DiProspero shared her thoughts on the issue.

“[I want to] really voice it that if you’re not getting lunch, don’t stand in the line because then it makes the line extra long, and you’re there for extra time for no reason,” DiProspero said.

Having multiple places to get lunch disperses the crowds to different areas in the school, but some students believe that having more to-go stations where workers don’t have to take the time to assemble lunches might help move lines along and get students out of line more quickly. Hahn gave some examples of ways the problem could be resolved.

“I feel that we should have more quick, on-the-go options in the cafeteria instead of just snack options or the pizza for example – ready to go instead of everyone having to go up and rip a piece. I think that I would simply ask just for a better system, especially in the cafeteria, because when the lines get long it is hard to check out because no one knows where the line is. Also maybe having more than one person working a station may allow for lines to move faster,” Hahn said.

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About the Contributor
Maya Homberg, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Maya Homberg is an Editor-in-Chief, and this is her second year on the Blueprint staff. Homberg is an honor roll student and has been swimming for over 10 years. At DGS, she is the president of NHS and also takes part in ACE, Spanish NHS, Earth Action Club and Key Club. Homberg joined journalism club during her sophomore year and has always shown a passion for reading and writing. She placed third at 2023 IHSA State in copy editing and was also selected as one of 13 Illinois students to be on the 2023 IJEA All-State Team. On top of this, Homberg has won a Best of Sno and multiple writing competitions, including IJEA Best Sports Feature Story. In her free time, Homberg enjoys hanging out with friends, baking and traveling. She loves visiting other countries but dreams of seeing all fifty states. Homberg is looking forward to sharing her opinions and entertaining others through her writing.

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