Nearly 1,500 glasses have disappeared from the newly renovated Bartlett Dining Commons since its reopening this quarter. The managing staff at Bartlett suspects that many of the glasses, which are larger than those of other dining halls on campus, were stolen.
"When we opened we had 2,200 glasses, now we're down to 450 to 500 glasses," said Bartlett Head Chef Mevin Jones. "We're not just throwing the stuff in the trash, and it doesn't just walk out the door."
Glasses are not the only problem for the Bartlett staff. Jones reported shortages of silverware and coffee mugs. Bartlett is struggling to keep the supply of dishware up high enough to supply a strong student demand.
"We're ordering silverware every other week," Jones said. "We've just put in an order for 1,200 coffee mugs and 2,200 more glasses."
The popularity of the new Bartlett Commons has made policing the area difficult. According to Jones, Bartlett is the most popular dining hall on campus, bringing in an average 400 people per hour between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. "It's so crowded, you can't see what everyone's doing. It's impossible [to police the area], especially with just one general manager," Jones said.
Ben Aderson, Student Government president, was disappointed to hear about the possible theft of the glasses. "There's no way of getting around [the fact that] it's stealing," Aderson said.
As of yet, Bartlett officials have observed no incidents of stealing. "I haven't caught anyone taking a glass," said Estuardo Atira, assistant food service director.
Atira said that student misconduct continues to be a problem at Bartlett. He caught people trying to sneak into the Commons without paying. Also, students have taken undue amounts of food and drink with them out of the building.
"We've had people bringing plastic bottles and taking a half of a liter of milk and juice. [Students take] loaves of bread. That's routine," said Atira.
The Bartlett managing staff has received many comment cards about the about the lack of security in the building. "Hike security so these jerks will stop coming in free of charge. It's not fair to us paying students," one student wrote.
None of the managing staff could comment on who might be stealing the glasses. At this point, the staff knew of no plans to increase security. "I really don't want to police people," Jones said.
Jones said that the problem of the missing glasses could become a real financial problem that would cause the University to take measures to police the area.
"We're trying our best to accommodate," Jones said. "If [the students] take advantage of the [Commons], then the University is going to respond."
The glasses at Bartlett are much taller than those of other dining halls. Although Jones believes that the larger glasses cut down on drink waste, he said that students frequently take more than one glass, adding to the shortage. "We need to order three times the amount of glasses to meet the demand," Jones said.
Students expressed doubt with regards to the quality of the glasses. Many of the glasses are extremely fragile. "It's pretty poor," said Louis Hirsch, a second-year. "The bottom cracks and it spills all over and makes a mess."
The glasses' fragility sometimes makes them a hazard. "I was trying to put coke in my glass, and it broke," said Jesson Weh, a second-year.
Jones pointed out the possibility that the glasses may have been broken by students but only a small portion of those that have been lost. "
You can take about 10 percent of [the glasses lost] for breakage, but we're still missing 1,300," Jones said.
In the meantime, Bartlett Commons is using paper cups in order to fill the gap left by the missing glasses.
"We have to use the [paper] cups often," said Fernado Rivera, a cook for Bartlett commons.
Other student criticized the amount of waste involved in using paper cups. "I think the paper cups are a travesty," said Kyle Edwards, a third-year. "A whole bunch of paper is wasted."