New cafeteria seating elevates lunchtime

Elise Bowen, Features, Opinion, & Sports Editor

On Feb. 8, the cafeteria received all new seating for its students. Replacing the old, standard long tables, this new seating is much more dynamic, with circular tables and high top bars in a sleek, modern design. But this sudden change may lead students to ask, “Why the makeover?” 

Much like how the vending machines at Valley are now closed during school hours to adhere to the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” the cafeteria makeover had similar motivation. The older cafeteria seating arrangement drew in large crowds, and, at times, pushed occupancy levels for fire regulations. The switch now keeps students safer in case of emergencies. 

The update means that the tables are rearranged in a new layout, making tables less available. It particularly affects who people may sit with, how many seats are available with the new single-chair design and the likelihood of people being booted from sitting with their friends over tables’ occupancy.  

Senior Sydney Nassif sits in the cafeteria with her friend group every day, and has mixed feelings about the change. 

“The vibe of the old cafeteria was pretty basic,” Nassif said. “I think that the new seating actually brightens up the room significantly, and is more unique than before. I think it’s cool, but you also can’t sit with as many people.” 

Nassif liked the original feel of the cafeteria mostly because her friend group all sat at one table, meaning everyone could sit together and contribute to the conversation. She admits, though, that the variety in seating options now is pretty cool, and switches up the basic atmosphere of the old cafeteria. 

Senior Ashu Strange regularly sits in the cafeteria with his football teammates. His old table pressed right against the lunch line, and was often hard to get a seat at. 

“All four years of high school I’ve sat in the cafeteria.” Strange said. “I still sit in there, and I think the new seating is great.”