BY KYLIE YEATMAN
In a world dominated by constant Internet connection on campus, options in food delivery have seen a radical increase, as students can quickly order meals to school with the click of a few buttons. Apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats offer an expansive menu including major chains that can be delivered to any location, including schools.
No longer is it uncommon to see dozens of Subway and Chipotle bags ready to be picked up by students on a small table directly outside the main office. This table, formerly inside the office, has been shifted both as a convenience to attendance secretary Ann Berry, who was previously forced to deal with these deliveries, and to make it more convenient for deliverers to drop off orders.
“Food is left outside on the table this year, so the seagulls are having a field day,” explains Berry.
Berry frequently had to deal with deliverers coming inside the office in the past, something the faculty has tried to dissuade.
“It is not my responsibility or anyone else’s to maintain and watch the table,” Berry asserts. “Delivery people don’t have enough information when they make deliveries, and sometimes with only the student’s first name on the delivery, the item gets picked up by someone else.”
As these apps have only gained popularity, little exists in the way of school policy or even classroom policy regarding whether students should be allowed to order food for campus delivery. Some teachers note observing students using the apps during class.
“I am not all right with students leaving class to go get their food,” science teacher Joe Mello says. “I would love to treat students as adults who work at this job that we call school. Their job is to go to meetings and learn things, and while there might be times that students can leave class with minimal impact to that learning, that time is probably not when their app tells them to leave.”
Many teachers agree with the notion that students should time these orders during lunch as not to disrupt class time.
“I think it’s a very resourceful idea, but kids shouldn’t be placing orders during class,” explains French teacher Suzanne Marden, who says she has seen some students claim they’re going to the bathroom, only to return with bags of food.
Though timing for the lunch period might be ideal, it would still require students to place orders during class to ensure arrival during lunch, as expedient delivery times can hardly be guaranteed during a 35-minute lunch period.
But the convenience factor of ordering deliveries is seen as a net positive to students who enjoy using the apps.
“You can deliver food to school that’s actually really good,” remarks senior Jenna Balint, who says some students might pool their money to place orders for their classmates as well.
Junior Jaden Sissem adds that the use of delivery gives students a greater proportion of options, compared to only being able to get food from the cafeteria.
“It’s a great way to increase your options without having to eat the same cafeteria food every day or bring your own,” Sissem explains.
Psychology teacher Nora Ward, however, notes that it may be inappropriate to eat delivered meals during class time.
“There are some students who simply can’t afford to have food like that delivered to class,” Ward says. “So I think there’s a way to go about it tactfully without making people in class feel bad that they can’t get food for themselves.”
Ward says that differing class dynamics might come into play—for example, during extended block periods where lunch starts later in the day, ordering delivery during class might be more reasonable, compared to on a regular class day.
Balint says she sometimes orders food for more than just herself.
“I used to order big feasts during my block period classes and share that,” the senior recalls.
Administrators regulating the use of food delivery say they have few concerns regarding the use of delivery apps, so long as their use is timed appropriately and the food is delivered to the correct place.
“The way that we set it up is that [the deliverers] can bring food in during break and lunch, and students are only allowed to pick up food during those times, so they can’t leave class for it,” explains assistant principal Debbi Puente.
When it comes to responsibility, administrators concur that the onus is on the students to keep track of their own food.