School should provide outside eating area suitable for more students

Editor’s Note: This is the staff editorial published in the May print issue of The Tiger Print. The opinions expressed in this column were voted on by the staff, with 22 members agreeing and 1 member disagreeing.

For seven periods, five days a week, we are trapped inside.
Many classrooms don’t even have windows. And with only a few minutes to get to class, there is little time to step outside for a few minutes to enjoy the sun.
After school, students have extracurricular activities, homework and work.
Rarely are any of those outside.
No wonder a study by the Department of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College found 14 percent of all teens are vitamin D deficient.
According to cornellsun.com, vitamin D is essential to maintain a person’s calcium balance to grow strong bones and to prevent diseases like Osteoporosis.
Where do we get vitamin D? The sun.
Our only opportunity to really sit outside and soak in necessary vitamins is during lunch.
But because of the school’s less than ideal outside lunch accommodations, we really don’t get that chance.
Let’s do a little math. The current enrollment at BV is around 1,300 students. Divide that by four for each lunch period.
That leaves around 325 students eating lunch at the same time.
Outside, there are only three tables where people can sit. At the most, eight people can sit at each table.
Basically, only 24 people of each lunch period can sit outside. If they are willing to cram together and don’t mind putting their lunch trays on bird poop. If they don’t care about sitting near piles of trash and leaves.
Plus, two of the three tables are in the shade, preventing students from getting sun.
The school has plenty of space to create an outdoor eating area that could fit more than two dozen people.
Actually, they don’t really have to create anything.
Just give students permission to go sit outside by the tiger statue or sit on the stone benches near the roses.
The school should consider putting a few tables out where the sun actually shines.
Maybe then, according to the study, 182 students at BV wouldn’t be vitamin D deficient.