Lack of lunch tables
By Isabella Nava
There are about 50 lunch tables and 1685 students at Gabrielino. Together, the lunch tables available right now seat about 504 students. This leaves 1181 students with having to resort to spending lunch in classrooms, stairways, and on the floor. The wanting of students to have more lunch tables throughout the school is understandable, however, this desire is impossible for Gabrielino to implement due to constrictions of cost and space.
Sitting on the floor during lunch forces students to block the hallway and makes it difficult for others to walk by, thereby creating a fire hazard. The fact that Gabrielino has a free roaming policy during lunch helps to alleviate to alleviate the problem and allows students to go all over campus during lunch instead of being confined to the quad.
“The kids are pretty good about it, but you see them on the ground and eating their lunch.” stated Shalla Rubalcava, security guard.
Gabrielino has such a hard working custodial and security team. Not having enough lunch tables creates a larger work load for custodians because they have to cover areas all across campus.
“It makes it harder for [the custodial team] to keep the campus clean.” said Raul Enriquez, custodian.
Students at Gabrielino have raised the lack of outdoor tables issue before.
“We tried to get a table at some point but then the kids were like ‘no you can’t sit here’ and then we talked to Lopez about them helping us [to fix it],” explained Araceli Bonilla, senior. and [was told] ‘well if there’s not enough tables there’s nothing really I can do.’”
Sharron Heinrich, principal, disclosed how the budget at Gabrielino is determined. The budget is based off of how many students attend Gabrielino. Last year the school was budgeted at 1720 students. The money is then divided by the various needs on campus. This year Gabrielino was allotted about $356,000. The money is put towards transportation, athletic uniforms, instrument repair, and a variety of other expenses. Once those costs are paid, the rest of the budget is divided between the different departments on campus. “There is some money, but it’s not a lot of money”, explained Heinrich.
It however, was revealed that even with a budget put aside to buy more lunch tables, the real underlying problem is the fact that there is not enough space on campus for the tables to reside. With [ ] tables in the quad, [ ] tables in the cafeteria area, and [ ] more tables around campus, the concern for where these lunch tables would go started to rise.
“Our campus is so small compared to other high schools. We are such a small footprint.” said Heinrich.
While the campus at Gabrielino is quaint and small, it boasts an abundance of spirit and pride. Despite the fiscal and spacial inability of Gabrielino to buy and place more tables, the closely-knit school environment at Gabrielino is unique from others schools and it should be acknowledged.