The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Off-Campus Lunch Rush

Students choose between going off-campus and staying on-campus for lunch period, teacher weighs in on safety
Photo by Joelle King
Walking to the building, students Liliane Klotz (10), Grace Papineau (10), Cielo Gutierrez (10), pose for a photo outside of the high school on Nov. 7.

Juniors and seniors have thrived with the choice of off-campus lunch, allowing them to single handedly keep their favorite lunch spots in business. Everyday the doors and parking lots are crowded with students rushing to get to their cars to get food in the short amount of time allotted for lunch. 

Gerrit Garcia (11) goes off campus for lunch almost everyday with his friends. He’s definitely a regular at his top three favorite places.

“Definitely Bell’s Greek Pizza for the cheap slices, then Chipotle and Little Caesars,” Garcia said. “That’s the top three for sure.”

Jade Westjohn (12) takes advantage of the opportunity to go off campus any chance she gets. She herself doesn’t have a car, but when her friend drives to school they go out together to their favorite lunch area.

Story continues below advertisement

“Really just anywhere downtown,” Westjohn said, “Probably Chipotle.”                                                                                                           

Surprisingly, traffic downtown is way more mild compared to the student parking lot at lunch time. The student parking lot is filled with students trying to race for one of only two exits, in order to get their food and get back in time for their next class.

“It’s very hard to get out of the student parking lot during lunch,” Westjohn said, “The traffic downtown East Lansing really isn’t that bad, not compared to after school.”

Though many juniors and seniors love getting out of school there are some who rather stay in, like Sydni Ooten (11) who much prefers to stay on campus even though she does have her own car. Being able to just relax and eat with her friends sounds much more appealing to Ooten.

“It’s easier to stay instead of worrying about having to get back on time,” Ooten said, “Sometimes I forget if it’s an Excel day and that can really mess up my time management skills, I prefer to just stay inside and eat the lunch that I packed from home.”

There are other students who don’t go out for lunch, but some for other reasons, like Ava Lahti (11) who doesn’t go out because she simply doesn’t have the time to due to her learning at the Wilson Talent Center.

“I don’t have enough time to leave and come back [before she leaves for the talent center],” Lahti said, “If I could I would probably go to Panda Express.”

She’s not the only one who feels the time allotted for lunch makes it difficult to leave, though many students agree with her there are teachers who do as well.

AP World and European History teacher Mark Pontoni believes the time for lunch could potentially be dangerous to students. Getting back and forth in a short amount of time may cause some students to rush in an attempt to make it back in time.

“It’s really hard [for students] to go out, get something and get back in half an hour,” Pontoni said, “I also think it potentially has dangers for kids driving fast and rushing to get back.”

Though Pontoni is concerned about the safety of students due to off campus lunch, he also understands why some students may prefer that.

“I also understand not everybody wants the cafeteria food,” Pontoni said, “I reluctantly understand why juniors and seniors do but I wish they would be more safe and I wish they would plan better.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Cielo Gutierrez
Cielo Gutierrez, Staff Writer
Cielo Gutierrez is in the class of 2026 and is a staff writer and photographer for Portrait.  This is her first year on staff as a sophomore.  Cielo's favorite thing about journalism is how different people's voices can be heard and how their stories can be shared.   When she's not in the newsroom, Cielo plays the piano when she gets a burst of inspiration, it's very soothing for her.
Joelle King
Joelle King, Photography Editor
Joelle King is in the class of 2025 and is a Photography Editor for Portrait.  This is her second year on staff as a junior.  Joelle's favorite thing about journalism is telling stories through video. When she is not in the newsroom, Joelle loves competitive dancing and reading.

Comments (0)

All Portrait Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *