PROS and CONS- The Growler Cafe

PROS and CONS- The Growler Cafe

Kaylee Enck, Reporter

PRO- The Growler benefits high school

by: Kaylee Enck

Big Spring High School offers something that not many high schools do with food, a quiet work space, and books.  That’s right – it’s the Growler. Despite the number of critics it may have, the Growler is an innovative and positive addition to our school.

The Growler, according to Principal Bill August, was “a district decision, along with Chartwells…to make the library a place where kids want to be and get more kids in that learning commons.” This space, located in the library, sells coffee, sandwiches for breakfast or lunch, wraps, fruit, and a lot more.

Students have the freedom to come, should they so choose to do so, at whatever time they want during the day. If they have a few minutes before a class or two and need a little pick-me-up, they can stop on into the Growler and purchase whatever they desire. There are actually two positives to the Growler right there. The first is that the student has the freedom to come whenever they feel it a wise time to do so. Though it may seem like that is a trivial thing, any freedom given to high schoolers is greatly appreciated. After all, in only a few years, these very high schoolers will be out on their own in the world and responsible for much bigger things. The second advantage is that the Growler is open from 7:30 to 2:00 unlike the cafeteria that is only open at select times during the day. Essentially anytime someone wants to visit the Growler, they are able to do so.

Also, according to August, the Growler was a smart financial move given our partnership with Chartwells. The more the school sells from the cafeteria and the Growler, the less the school district has to eventually pay. In addition, the Growler is a quieter alternative to the cafeteria that many prefer. It has cozier feel, and in a lot ways, is similar to places like Barnes and Noble.  In addition, seniors who do not have a first period class like Jenna Brobst spend that time in the Growler. Brobst said, “It’s a really nice place to come up to for late arrival if you have work to do before classes start.” Brobst often grabs lunch from The Growler as well.

Now, after students have gotten their coffee or sandwich during the few minutes between classes, students will then head to class with their food and enjoy it during said class given the consent of the teacher. Some feel that this is the biggest problem with the Growler. The rules are unclear as to what students should be allowed to bring to class, and it is unknown if this is a distraction to the other students in the class which then takes up valuable class time. However, if the students are responsible with the privilege they have of going to the Growler, then this should not be an issue. Having a slushy in class is no different than having a thermos with coffee in from home. If a student plans out when they will be going to the Growler in advance so as to not be late to class, then little to no class time is taken up by the Growler.

Some also don’t enjoy the fact that the Growler takes up what once used to be library space. Many more people are coming to the library just because of the Growler, and that takes away from the true purpose of the library. While that may be viewed as a fault of the Growler, it is actually a positive. The whole reasoning behind the Growler was to make the library more enticing to students. Well, it has done it’s job and then some. Lots of students are utilizing both the library and the Growler. Some people may be coming just for the Growler, but what they see when they get there is the wide selection of books the library has to offer.

According to Cafeteria Manager Kim Wickard, the general perception of the Growler is a positive one throughout the student body, and in the end, that’s what really counts.

CON- Growler provokes problems

by:  Gabi Reifsnyder

Coffee, chips, cookies, and smoothies are all distracting students from class time. The Growler, a cafe in the library that serves a wide variety of foods, drinks, and snacks has become a problem in the school.

The Growler was put into place as a collaboration between Big Spring and Chartwells as a way to offer a relaxed and welcoming place for students. Students have the opportunity to stop into the Growler between classes, with permission from their teacher, and during both A and B lunches.

The main dilemma is that students are missing class and showing up late because they are at the Growler. Most students enjoy the freedom to be able to stop, but some people don’t use the freedom responsibly and show up late to their classes. According to Tammy Cunningham, who works in the Growler, 1:30-2 is the busiest time for the Growler. This means that many students are wanting to go during or before 6th period and may be disrupting class to do so. Many teachers are not fans of the Growler and their students using it during class, and find that it interferes with class time.

The Growler does have its benefits to the school and students. It provides another place for students to relax and eat and offers different snack foods from the cafeteria. With these benefits, there are some downsides and issues. Although the Growler is a quieter option to the cafeteria, with the abundance of people going there and the size of the room, the noise is fairly loud. On the topic of new and different foods, there are lots of different options at the Growler. The downside to this is that the foods being served are not substantial foods for lunch and are more snacks and “junk food”.

There are some more complications with the Growler. The fact that there is a sort of “mini cafeteria” in the library will cause its own problems. Some students will go to the library to study or quietly work and will easily be distracted by the noise of the Growler side. Putting the Growler in the library also limited the space available for books and the original purpose of a library. Another problem with having the Growler in the Library is the mess that comes from it. There has been recent occurrences of trash cluttering the library side which will potentially leave school property including books and computers damaged.

Another issue occurring among the students is the price of the foods offered at the
Growler. The prices of the food can be considered very pricey for high school students. When buying food at the Growler, you have the option of purchasing your food as a meal or individually. The problem with this is that students are not buying meals which are less expensive and end up spending more money than they need to. This leads to upset parents when they see how much their child is spending at the Growler.

The problems occurring at the Growler can easily be solved here at Big Spring. With stricter and more enforced rules, The Growler could truly be a place that both teachers and students enjoy.