Having an open-campus lunch offers several advantages, including more food choices for the students as well as time to blow off steam that has developed during the school day. Giving students the freedom and responsibility to manage their own lunch period builds more independence among the eventual graduates.
Many school cafeterias offer food that is not appetizing to students, and the cafeterias in some schools have not grown with the size of their campus. As a result, these cafeterias are clogged with students during multiple lunch periods, and the quality of the food does little to boost morale. With all of these students in close proximity to one another, with little in the way of amusement during the lunch period, some schools experience more fighting and other disciplinary issues during the lunch period.
Opening the campus during lunchtime gives students access to more choices. An open campus does not mean that students have to leave, but it does give students the choice to manage their lunchtime as they see fit. Just because some students might wander off campus and not return, or come back significantly late for their next class, does not mean that all students should be denied the opportunity to eat lunch off the campus grounds.