WHS Dining Commons: Worthy Name, or Prolix Cafeteria?

What, precisely, is the “Dining Commons”? Their name is suggestive of a vaulted hall of immoderate capaciousness and panache décor: a veritable deity among the otherwise drawn out and pallid competition. However, a cursory inspection of the admittedly sprawling chamber reveals a different reality. Not austere, certainly, but not exactly reflecting the idealistically inspired name, either.

Then again, it is leaps and bounds ahead of its erstwhile namesake, the dingy, petite, and crude former cafeteria of the former WHS. Perhaps the new name, smacking of millennial foresight and integration, suits the equally nascent dining commons. Perhaps.

Notwithstanding the ubiquitous drive for eloquence, it is, in a very literal sense, a room in which students and faculty eat, thereby marking it as what Merriam-Webster would describe as a “cafeteria or lunchroom.” It would seem the English department’s stance has been decided.  


Furthermore, the concept of a dining “common” is redundant. Is eating not an inherently social activity? Is the administration attempting to send a veiled message, atoning for the already nigh-full school and discrete lunches?

Possibly, the name solely exists to further emblazon the alleged preeminence of THE Winchester High School in the minds of its students. After all, the logic goes, what similarities could there be between our very own angelic dining institution, and the degenerate, ramshackle, sordid hovel of desperation frequented by the delinquent youth of our neighbouring towns known as “cafeterias”?

This is plausible in the Winchester familiar to us all, but, like the occasional Tuesday in the “Dining Commons,” smells fishy. A quick Google tells all: Tufts, Framingham State, and UMass Lowell all have their own similarly titled establishments. Though we can claim imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the simple truth is that Tufts likely beat us to the punch on elegant student dining.

The best course of action at this point would be to christen the “Dining Commons” anew. Some prospects include the medievally inspired “Hall of Feasting,” to the Great Gatsby motivated “Speakeasy.” Taking University of Maryland’s lead, we could even call it “The Diner,” in an act of faux-erudition and scholarly plagiarism even surpassing the average freshman English essay.

All ruminations over the name aside, the “Dining Commons” looks like it’s here to stay. How could it not, with administration's blessing and the plenitude of already cast-in-plastic signs adorning the hallways? Doubts over the name, it appears, will be smothered like so many nachos in the oily voluptuousness of Velveeta.