Stealing from Commons: Students weigh in on how, why, and when it happens

Dishware and utensils that some freshmen students have accumulated from Commons so far this year.

Isabella Gentile, Features Editor

It is commonly known that RWU food is ranked highly in the nation and that we have a clean and efficiently-run dining area. Taking food out of the dining hall is one aspect of eating in Commons, but students are also inclined to gather other items to sneak back to their dorm rooms.

 Stealing items from Upper Commons is in a way like a secret mission, given that most students do not want to call attention to the fact that they are removing items from the space. When asked why students would be tempted to take simple items like dishes and utensils, a variety of reasons arise.

 Given that the price range of full meal plans for the 2017-2018 school year was between $6,924 and $7,254, some students feel as though it is fair to take small items from the dining hall rather than having to go out and spend money on them.

 “It’s more economically beneficial to steal cups from Commons for free than to go out and buy them,” said sophomore David Hayes, a legal studies major. “We pay enough to go here, we might as well get some free cups out of it.”

 Inclement weather is another factor in students wanting to pilfer from Commons, specifically with food. The dining hall can be an extremely far walk from dorms like Willow and Stonewall at the end of Campus. Without having kitchens in freshman and some sophomore dorms, going to eat at Commons is the only food source for many students.

“Freshman year there was a bad storm coming and I knew I was not going to want to walk to Commons through a blizzard to eat,” said Jacqueline Low, a sophomore studying international relations. “The night before when I was eating dinner I stole half a loaf of bread so I could eat peanut butter sandwiches for the day.”

 Interestingly, students who live in traditional residence halls and have full meal plans are not the only ones who remove objects out of the space. Students who have different living situations have felt inclined to steal items as well.

 “I’ve taken bowls and cups because I don’t have enough in my apartment,” said Jason Lamie, a sophomore criminal justice major.

 Considering that it is not uncommon to see the plate cart around Commons with full stacks of dishes, it seems as though the dining hall will be fine missing a few, as they apparently have an abundance.

 Children are often taught not to steal. Removing dishware and utensils from Commons is one thing, but is it truly bad for students to take a few plastic cups and slices of bread as they go? RWU students appreciate Upper Commons completely, but some can definitely be found participating in these activities when no one is looking.