Each Marian girl has a trick when it comes to hiding her phone. Whether it be hiding it in the folds of her skirt, in her backpack or even the old-school phone in the textbook trick. This will no longer be necessary. A new lunchroom policy has been put into effect, allowing students to use their cell phones during the 30-minute lunch block. Now, students can communicate with parents, friends and employers during the school day.
This rule has been discussed often throughout the years and was finally accepted for second semester of the 2016-17 school year. The change sent a wave of smiles through the student body when it was announced in December at an assembly. The rule officially went into effect in January.
“We were told that the rule would change first semester, but we couldn’t actually make the change until second semester because some work had to be done before that many devices could be used at one time,” senior Student Board member Mallory Grote said. As long as cell phones are only used during the lunch block, no other restrictions have been given.
The main concern was a lack of socialization between students. As cellphones become a bigger part of society, a concern when it comes to social interaction has arisen. The purpose of the rule is not to keep students on their phones the entirety of the lunch block, but to give students more freedom and responsibility when it comes to technology. As soon as the school’s network could withstand more users, phones could be used at lunch.
“I think the rule change is fine. We know that girls were trying to be sneaky and look at their phones, so hopefully this will relieve their angst throughout the rest of the school day. We need to teach our students about digital citizenship. It is important they learn that they don’t need their phone every second,” Principal Susie Sullivan said.
However, with more freedom comes responsibility. “Hopefully, this will help girls to self-monitor their phone use,” Sullivan added.
The new policy allows students to interact with students in other schools that have the same rule. It opens up the possibility of more widespread communication.
“I like it. It’s nice to have the option, but I don’t necessarily take advantage of it,” senior Laura Shaw said. “I think that having our cell phones is a good thing when it comes to different types of interaction. You can snapchat a friend in second lunch if you’re in first, or you can communicate with your parents without having to sneak around.”
Students appreciate the new policy, but the change in lunchroom dynamic is small. The quad and cafe are still booming with conversation and laughter.