By Caroline Baber and Frances Melvin
Walking into school on a Wednesday, students are greeted with the aromas of Einstein Bros. Bagels, Kripsy Kreme or Sugar Shack donuts, and Chick-Fil-A platters. The front hall counter is overflowing with various boxes and bags of snacks. Someone unfamiliar with Collegiate might ask, “Why so much food?” Well, what they don’t know is that today is Advisory day.
Most Wednesdays, Upper School students are granted with not only a late start (8:50 a.m.), but an Advisory period from 11:05-11:40 a.m. This time is meant to be used for various Advisory activities, and some students even use it as a quick study hall, but it also happens to be a snack time. Many Advisories create snack schedules, even beginning on the very first Advisory of the year. This way, there will never be a Wednesday where the Advisory is without food. While one may think parents might get annoyed with the purchase of extra food, Julie Miller, Upper School receptionist, states that “I never see any parent that looks angry” when they come to drop off their child’s snack. She estimates about twenty parents bring in snack for Advisory every Wednesday morning. Personally, Miller thinks the concept is “hilarious” and jokes about opening “a store across the street that sells bagels and donuts.” She believes this would be a great way to make money.
Students generally love the concept of Advisory snack. Robertson Reed (’18) states that “Advisory snack is great because it brings our Advisory together as we share food.” Owen Scher (’18) also loves Advisory snack because “we don’t have to pay for overpriced food like we do at the cafe.” Similarly, Ayinde Budd (’18) thinks that snack brightens up the sometimes dull Advisory lessons and “gives him a reason to go to Advisory.”
When surveying students on their Advisory routines, the common consensus was that Chick-Fil-A is the favorite, although it is rare. Einstein’s bagels and Sugar Shack donuts are also popular options. Caroline Hall (’18) loves a good batch of “homemade cookies.” Between the four different Advisories we asked, they all had a specific schedule laid out to ensure that someone brought snack every week.
While many people like the Advisory snack system, some claim that it is “a burden on the parents.” Missy Herod, Associate Director of Student Life, has several problems with it. Firstly, she “claims that it reinforces sexism because mothers are forced to serve their children.” Additionally, Herod understands that for some families buying snack can be a financial burden. She also thinks that students should be responsible enough to remember their own food and shouldn’t place the responsibility on their parents or other students. Her final criticism is that “food allergies are so prominent among many students and faculty,” making Advisory snack a potential health hazard. Also, Miller recognizes that “it is odd that Advisory occurs right before lunch and that it is on late arrival days, where most students have recently had breakfast.”
Despite these few complaints, students’ love for the Advisory snack tradition means that any attempts to get rid of it would probably be met with great opposition.
All photos by Frances Melvin.