Cafeteria rules leave students with a bad aftertaste

Photo by Olivia Essig

Kaitlin Meister
Assistant Editor

As of this year, students are no longer allowed to take their backpacks into the cafeteria; they must leave them at the tables they are sitting at.  

“At the end of last year, we had safety issues,” said employee Fay Weitzel, who has been working in the cafeteria for three years. “Kids were bumping into kids with plates.”

The main incident that caused Briar Cliff to implant the “no backpack rule” was when one student got their backpack caught on the sneeze guard, the glass window that hangs over the food.

“It [fell] to the floor and shattered into a million pieces,” said Weitzel.

Another reason backpacks are no longer allowed in the food area is because some students were taking extra food and putting it into their backpacks.

“There was a lot of theft,” said Weitzel. “Kids would bring in their backpacks and then fill it with fruit, bagels, and loaves of bread.”  

“As far as the bookbags, I think it’s a little ridiculous,” said junior Frank Wallace.  “If the bags are on our backs then how are we taking things?

Some students feel that they should be allowed to take food back to their rooms, if they choose.

“No one eats bananas or apples while they are in the café,” said senior Sebastian Gilmore. “Why not let people take that stuff back? It’s not like we are stuffing chickens and pizzas in our backpacks.”

Despite their dislike of this new rule, students are being fairly cooperative for the most part.  

“I would say that about 90 percent of students have learned the new rule and do leave the backpacks out in the dining area,” said Weitzel. “I did have trouble last week with a student.  He was not happy with how I asked him to leave the backpack, but we talked it out and everything was fine.”

The second new rule that has been enforced in the cafeteria is that students are not allowed to take the café dishes out of the cafeteria area. There are new signs at the exits that say, “No dishes beyond this point.”

“As long as I have been here it just keeps getting worse. There is a big issue with kids taking the dishes out of the dining area,” said Weitzel. "Then we have a lot of the house keepers picking them up out of the trash or out of the snow banks, or they just are gone.”

According to Weitzel, Briar Cliff has to spend thousands and thousands of extra dollars to replace the lost dishes. Students see more of a purpose to this rule.

“The no dishes rule I can kind of understand,” said Gilmore, “the café doesn’t want to have a whole bunch of cups and plates missing.”

“I think it’s very understandable,” said Wallace, “students take them and then do not bring them back; and then we have to pay for them.”  

Briar Cliff hopes that these new rules in the cafeteria will help save money and make for a safer environment. Although it is an adjustment for students, they seem to be tolerant.

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Submitted by braunschweigc on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 16:52

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