The garden formerly known as the courtyard

With the opening of the new cafeteria at Ames High, a number of new issues have arisen. While there are many issues, a few particular ones have rubbed me the wrong way. The biggest one has been the “garden,” formerly known as the courtyard, which has been closed due to construction. The question most of us ask is if it will stay closed under a different guise. I recently spoke with Principal Michael McGrory. He told me that contrary to popular belief, “the courtyard will reopen to student use after construction is finished. What the main issue is if it will reopen as an option for lunch.” According to McGrory, the problem lies in the distance between the courtyard and cafeteria. The issue would be increased hall traffic and the mess students would leave behind. It is the same logic that keeps a hoard of seniors in the front lobby every day after lunch. There are a few benefits to this new garden: there would be landscaping and art additions. I don’t really see this as a benefit. While the intentions of the administration are good, they have once again failed to identify with the student body. Flowers would be trampled; grass torn to shreds, and art would just be the new hot target for petty vandalism. We don’t need an elaborate place to eat, we’re high school students. All we really want is a place to toss a Frisbee, smell the fresh air, and get away from glaring fluorescent lighting. All we need is an “OK,” the doors to be unlocked, and students to not be criminalized for simply being outdoors while eating a sandwich. I am afraid that the reopening of the courtyard will be used just like the cafeteria. Instead of being a haven for students, it will come with a flurry of rules, regulation, and injustice. To the administration’s credit, they have plans to reopen a smaller courtyard closer to the cafeteria, but once again they are guilty of not doing their homework. A miniscule offering won’t satisfy students; there is no reason to cramp students into a tiny isolated courtyard when the large one is so close by. Student have done a good job in the past, and if the administration doesn’t allow lunch to continue in the courtyard, it will be a slap in the face of the student body. It would be the ultimate vote of no confidence to question our ability to quietly travel 50 feet. The deed isn’t done yet. We still have time to have our voice heard. Tell the principle, a counselor, or even a stranger on the street; we will reenter the garden formally know as the courtyard.