Deans continue lounge food ban

Upper school deans decided last week to continue to ban food in the student lounge this year. Dean Jim Patterson cited a “frustration” about growing trash levels in the lounge in his explanation of the decision.

“I think that there’s some general frustration with the message that that sends in terms of the stewardship for the community, taking care of the community here and being responsible for your own garbage,” Patterson said.

Deans banned the consumption of food and all drinks but water. Though this is a continuation of a policy implemented near the end of last year, Dean Vanna Cairns said that the deans have had to ban food from the lounge due to student messiness numerous times in the past.

This year they would try a different path she said.

“Every year we go through the same dance…[this year] I guess we just realized that nothing’s different, so why get to the point where we’re all upset and not happy with the students, and why not just start with no food—that’s where we’re going to end up anyway,” she said.

Cairns said that there is always the chance that the lounge could be reopened to food and drink, should students create some sort of “proactive program” to show that they would be able to keep the lounge clean.

Patterson did not know what sort of program students could implement, but agreed the ban was not necessarily permanent.

“There are very few rules that are hard and fast,” Patterson said.

“As frustrated as we are as deans about the way that that room is cared for, that’s not to say that a month from now or three months from now we wouldn’t be going to revisit that and see what happens.”

Cairns added that students would be allowed to eat in the lounge should it rain, although deans would have to make certain that students throw away their trash at the end of each period.