Friday, February 28, 2014

Whitney dining hall “all you can eat” not “all you can take,” by Samantha Loomis

Whitney dining area is constantly losing dishes and utensils as well as vast amount of foods from the dining area.

In a campus wide email Larry J. Ringgenberg says, “Since the start of spring semester 2014, approximately 315 bowls and 960 glasses have disappeared from Whitney Center.”

According to general manager Nori Yamashita, Whitney bowls can cost from 3 to 4 dollars apiece. These dishes can cost more than the china used in Whitney.

315 bowls stolen at $3 a piece puts Whitney at a loss of $945. That is only for this portion of the spring semester so far.

Yamashita follows up, “It is a theft, but depending on whom you talk to many students feel comfortable enough in the dining room and think it is okay to walk off with certain things. Anything that we lose or we have to replace eventually.”

In the dorms there is an amnesty program for returning “borrowed” dishes. This enables students with dishes taken from Whitney or other dining centers on campus to return the materials before moving out at the end of the year without suffering any consequences. Boxes are set up in residence hall lobbies.

The Ringgenberg email also alludes to students “filling jugs of milk, plastic bags with cereal, and removing containers of ice cream from the dining room.”

Yamashita brings this point up as well, “People take stuff out and that increases our food costs. There are just people who don't understand and think it’s their ‘right’.”

The Basic 19 meal plan on campus is $1225.00 and the Basic 14 is $1205.00. With 15 weeks per semester, and a student using all his/her meals every week, a meal would cost about $4.35 and $4.22, respectively.

This per meal amount pays for the labor and the cost of the food. The workers in Whitney get “paid by date for the food, about $7.35 per day,” according to Yamashita, “so each meal can’t be any more than $2.00.”

Yamashita emphasizes, “It is very difficult. When people take stuff out that really starts to skew some of the costs. It’s an all you can eat, in the dining room.