It was your average day. I would say it was maybe a Tuesday. I was at West Dining Center grubbing on some pizza.
I was just relaxing, unknowing that I was about to witness a crime.
There he was: a tall, big guy. With tattoos. I was intrigued. He was acting strange.
Every move, calculated. Every step, planned. In his mind he was the action hero the dining center deserved.
It was at this point I could tell that this crime was premeditated. Finally the scenario came to a head. He got up to make his move. I watched, eyes wide. I had at this point completely given up on the pizza. This was far more entertaining.
He came back with his victim.
He proceeded to wrap it in a napkin, and forcefully shoved it deep into his backpack. He quickly got up, and made for the door.
I was shocked. Now I am not going to pretend to be innocent. I have stolen many things. I steal so many condiments from restaurants that it is borderline concerning. I have stolen tortilla warmers, Tabasco, cups from Buffalo Wild Wings. My kleptomania knows no bounds.
The dining center is a holy ground, though, an Olive Garden of Eden. Take what you want, and however much you want, just don’t take anything home.
What I witnessed isn’t uncommon. I knew a person who stole eggs to bake in her dorm. I knew a guy who stole an entire set of coffee mugs and espresso cups.
Just attempting to get my money’s worth was their common excuse.
It costs about $5.60 for a 7-day meal plan per a meal. And about $6.46 per meal for a 5-day meal plan.
That value evidently doesn’t include a doggie bag. These crimes, though unpunished I am for sure have weighed heavy on the hearts of the perpetrators.
We are college students. We are always scrounging to survive, whether it is stealing a sandwich or if it is grabbing an extra roll. We crave convenience.
Though we know the punishment if caught.
“You want what? You want to take a PB&J home?” Queue evil laugh. “No my pretty.” Of course this ends with a dining center employee chest kicking you to the ground, as campus police arrest you.
Money is important. If food was free I am for sure I wouldn’t mind the rule about taking food from the dining center. If mints held nutritional value, then I would be content with that.
But the problem still remains.
The question that always ran through my head when I was in the dining centers was whether it was worth it or not. For the price it isn’t terrible (depending on how often you miss going to the dining center), but the rules about taking anything home really makes it hard to rationalize.
I mean, I paid for this food. Right?
The current system that the dining centers have is not what students want. We just want to bring home a sandwich.
We are not hardened criminals. We are not good at stealing things, yet. In fact, we are bloody terrible.
Stealing is not how our parents raised us. Though it is quickly being learned. Until rules are changed, expect more of the same. Now go and grab some mints, and remember to not move your bag too much. There’s a sandwich in there for later.