Have the Tables Turned?

Where do you sit at lunch? Is your choice of where to sit and whom to sit with one that matters? Is it easy to categorize different groups of people at RJ Reynolds by their lunch table?fleets-lunch-table-infographic

After speaking to Reynolds students it is clear that there are many factors that go into someone’s decision of where to sit at lunch. Those factors may be something blatant and stereotypical such as race or gender. But the divisions in our student body are usually not that easy to label. For example, there is not solely a group of white males that all sit together. Within this specific demographic there is still a stark difference between a table of students considered “preppy kids” and a table of students considered “tree huggers.”

“Tables are split up into different cultures, ethnic groups and cliques,” junior Jacob Douglas said. “It’s not just race though, you’ve got the hippies, the jocks and the nerds.”

Some suspect that this trend in the separation of groups at lunch contradicts Reynolds reputation of being an accepting and diverse environment.

“I see people who are considered as preps at one table, and then the people that have different colored hair at the other table,” freshman Madison Harvey explained. “One of the reasons I came to Reynolds is because I didn’t think it would be as segregated as any other high school.”

Along with Harvey, other students think that self-segregated lunch is a bad look for the school.

“Reynolds is supposed to be a diverse school, but it really isn’t when it comes to lunch,” senior Litzy Joffre noted.

On this apparent lack of diversity in the lunchroom, junior Rosa Aguilar shared her thoughts.

“We’ve got the Hispanics at one side, Whites on one side and African Americans on the other side,” Aguilar said. “Everybody should talk to each other; I don’t see why not”

Others argue that the issue is not as prevalent and is not something that needs to be addressed.

“I don’t really think there is a problem,” freshman Josh Boger said. “I’d sit wherever, I don’t really judge people.”

When discussing the idea of trying to desegregate tables at lunch, junior Dimaggio Wilson suggested that asking kids to sit in new places is not the best solution.

“I don’t feel like people need to come together if they don’t want to, I mean there’s white people that sit with black people in the cafeteria all the time,” Wilson said. “Some of it is the fact that some people like to sit outside and eat their food and others don’t.”

The fact of the matter is that people sit with their friends at lunch, so your choice of lunch table is merely a reflection of the people you surround yourself with. This does not mean that there still is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Perhaps junior Sophie Tahiri’s stance on the topic sums it up best.

“People are naturally inclined to sit with people with the same ethnicity as them, but I don’t really see any racism on campus. Things seem pretty good here. Race doesn’t really matter to me, what really matters is a person’s character,” Tahiri said.

Photo from Posts from the Path