North vs South lunch: Which is superior?

The extensive lunch line in the North WO Zone area.

Noel DeFeyter

The extensive lunch line in the North WO Zone area.

 As seniors Quincey Leonard and Selah Kephart at West Ottawa High School discussed their lunch, they were both debating their preferences for the two lunches. Leonard remarked “We have to eat at the South building.” “Bruh no what, North is so much better” Kephart argued. Why do students have such a preference? After all, both buildings serve the same food. Each building has its own set of qualities that makes it unique and “the better building” in the opinion of many.

Food differences

   When it comes to the food quality and options, the South undoubtedly wins that debate. Jr. Christine Durfee said, “I like South better because the pasta is so much better, it’s thoroughly cooked and has cute bowls to use.” Many students at West Ottawa share this opinion. Due to the shorter lines, the food is often warmer because it isn’t sitting out for so long. There are also some small details at South that make the lunch experience so much better. South has features that make school lunch seem less ‘school lunch’, such as the bowls we can put the pasta in, as opposed to dumping it onto a food tray. This makes the presentation better which entices students to eat school lunch. Although the North food has some good qualities such as the nachos being pre-prepared in their bowls, which makes the line go faster, and spicy ranch as a topping option, it doesn’t even compete with the overall better quality of food at the South building. 


   For the underclassmen who can’t leave during lunch, having pleasant and spacious seating is often just the kind of escape they need in the middle of the school day. The south building has the Perk, which is a small stand where students can buy countless snacks and meals to enrich your school lunch experience. The Perk has a variety of drink options including smoothies and customizable lattes, as well as flatbread pizzas. The North building does not have a Perk, they also don’t have the quiet, spacious seating the South building does. However, some students may disagree and believe that the WoZone at the North building makes up for the lack of having a Perk. School merch, parfaits, hot coffee, and croissant sandwiches are just a few of the things the WoZone has to offer at the North building. Although the WoZone in the North building has a lot to offer, when it comes to snacks and lunch options, it doesn’t compare to the Perk. Junior Diana Campagne stated, “I like South better because they have the little cafe with like, actually good food.” Having the Perk is often what makes students want to eat at South without a shadow of a doubt. 


  Many students have stated they believe there are characteristics separating the two buildings, one of these characteristics being the difference between the atmosphere in each building. From the lighting to the design of the building, anyone could tell the environment is contrasting. Food service member at the South building, Stephanie Kline, mentioned how she gets to converse with the students more. The lines in the north building are significantly longer than the lines in the south building, especially for the burrito/taco line (one of the most popular entrees). Jr. Lily Taylor who eats in the North stated “North is dreadful, it’s freezing…”. This isn’t the first complaint about the temperature of the North building. Copious people were criticizing the North building for being too cold, whereas the South building had no claims of being too hot or cold. Other complaints have been noted by students like the lighting of the North building, “It’s too bright” complained Sr. Quincey Leonard. “The South lunch room is more homey because of the lighting” argued Jr. Sidney Kuyper.  Jr. Diana Campagne even remarked, “Even though it’s older it’s nicer”. The South building is noticeably more popular. Each comparison had people claim they prefer the North building only because their friends are there.


   The atmosphere of the North building can be quite intimidating if you aren’t used to it. Seeing familiar faces helps with this concern. The amount of people at the North building’s lunch is overwhelming especially when the seats in the hallway are restricted now. The overcrowded feeling in the North building can feel smaller when you’re eating with friends. Allowing students to eat in the main street in the South building reduces the close captivity the North building includes. The Assistant Principal  Lindsay Cherry at the South building talks with a lot of the students eating lunch. In the North building, the staff usually congregates and doesn’t normally connect with the students, which can be less welcoming to the new freshman who don’t know the teachers and administrative personnel. As mentioned previously, the lunch lady in the snack lunch line always tries to talk with students. While interviewing many people in favor of the South building for lunch, many listed her as the main reason why.  

   So, why do students care so much about which building they eat at? The qualities of the two buildings set them apart and have students debating which building is better. After a survey and many interviews, it was prevalent that the South building was the winner for best lunch. With a quiet and cozy atmosphere, the South building is favored by many. The staff and the food add to the radiant feeling at South lunch. Overall, many students at West Ottawa have their preferences but the South building is proven to be superior.