October 27, 2009

Bartlett halts food capers

Bartlett Dining Hall ended its self-service dining policy and began serving standardized portions this month, after the cafeteria ran into portion control issues and was unable to prevent students from sneaking in.

Richard Mason, director of operations and communications for housing and dining services, said the change was meant to prevent waste and “to make sure that there is enough food for other diners.”

Mason said students who snuck in without paying drained the food stations that were already struggling to feed diners who were biting off more than they could chew.

“In the beginning of the year, people take more food than they actually need, as they are figuring out what they like and don’t like,” Mason said. “Later they learn to take a lot less at a time and realize that they can go back for more portions if they want.”

A third-year economics major who frequently sneaks into Bartlett without paying said he takes advantage of poor dining hall security, sneaking in through the exit door or pretending he’s asking a friend for a swipe.

“I’m a broke college student and food is expensive in Hyde Park. This is convenient and free,” said the student who wished to remain anonymous because he broke housing and dining rules.

Mason said that Bartlett employees will take further measures to keep students from sneaking in, making sure that they “pay for the food they eat.”

Fourth-year Rickert House RA Dushime Gashugi blamed the need for portion control on Bartlett’s convenience. “Bartlett is right on campus and is much more convenient than South Campus and Pierce. They are all all-you-can eat, so why walk to South Campus if you can just eat at Bartlett?”