By Rosen Castillo
The lunch-time rush can be very hectic, especially in Humber’s L Building cafeteria. The cafeteria is meant to serve Humber students in the Learning Commons as well as the nine surrounding cottages. However, there is an unexpected population that the cafeteria also serves.
Across Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, is Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School. The high school has an enrolment of 1,193 students, many of which buy and eat lunch at the L Building cafeteria. This has been a big issue for many Humber students.
“They’ll come in and they’re just loud, like extremely loud,’ said Kaitlin Mcdonald, a Criminal Justice student. “A lot of people want and need peace and quiet to literally focus on their studies. It’s very frustrating.”
Mcdonald was more than willing to speak about the inconvenience: “When the kids are on their lunch break and [Humber] students are out of class, the line is so long. We only have 10/15 minutes for break, so it cuts into our time and we miss what we’re here to learn.”
The 21-year-old feels it’s unfair to Humber students who pay to go to school and use the amenities here. “They’re just in high school. They don’t pay anything.”
This is a shared sentiment among Humber students. Katie Darroch, a 23-year-old Public Relations student, complained about the lack of space available. “I think the most annoying thing is that they eat here,” she said. “Go eat at your own school’ there’s only so many spots here.”
Humber’s policy on the Father John Redmond students spending time on campus is that students can purchase lunch at the cafeteria but must leave immediately after. This information has been shared and broadcast at the neighbouring school.
High school senior Olivia Grant and her two friends hide under the stairs during their lunch break. “We come here three times a week,” she says.
When asked why students like to buy and eat lunch on the college campus, Renee De Wit, another senior from Redmond, said, “It’s (the food) really bad and the room is really small.” She emphasized issues with their own school cafeteria. “We can’t eat outside the cafeteria but the cafeteria doesn’t have enough seats for everybody. So where are we supposed to eat?”
While the high school kids have nowhere to go and the Humber students are annoyed, it seems that a solution needs to be drawn up by administration from both schools.
Devon Hunter, a Finance student at Humber College, has a friend who wrote a letter to the Dean. He said that the friend had complained to him that, “Juggling between classes and trying to get something to eat, a swarm of them (Redmond students) might be here at a particular point in time. It creates an additional challenge for her.”
“She feels more strongly than I do about he issue. She’s interested in something actually being done,” says Hunter, whose issue is the way the students treat the space. “I think it’s a problem. Typically what I find is they’ll eat and leave their stuff on the table and the next person has to clean it up.
As for the high school students, Redmond’s De Wit says, “I understand why they don’t want us eating here but at the same time for us we have no where to eat. I’d be annoyed too.”