There’s a new sign in the DUC at the Sushi station that essentially says that stealing is bad for everyone. Even Bon Appétit. I think I learned in kindergarten that stealing was bad, but I’m not sure. It could have been Sesame Street that told me that even earlier. What I’m getting at here is that providing a justification for not stealing sushi doesn’t really change anything. It’s only the ensuing sticker policy and potential judicial action that has curtailed the raw fish thievery on campus. Are we a campus of kleptomaniacs? Are we reacting to overpriced food?
I think what Bon Appétit discovered with their little sushi experiment is that if you give someone the opportunity to take something without paying for it—especially a nutritious, delicious lunch like sushi—they are probably going to take it. Personally, I’ve never really been a fan of stealing on-campus sushi. It tends to upset my stomach…the stealing that is. I obviously can’t propose a theory on the morality of the entire campus. I can pretty much guarantee, however, that people didn’t really feel bad about swiping those morsels of tuna. Why? Well…because they did it enough for Bon Appétit to put up a sign. And when Bon Appétit puts up a sign, you know it just got real. If it’s any consolation to Dining Services, the people who ate sushi on their dime everyday will probably get mercury poisoning. But hey, with new health care, that’ll be free also. Shazam!
The necessary action has been taken. The yellow stickers have put an end to sushi thievery. What the whole situation boils down to is that college students tend to push boundaries. Without consequences, immediate gratification will almost always win. As smart as we appear to be on the surface, within, we are truly toddlers. We see a cookie, we take it. And we’ll spit out our broccoli if we damn well please—unless of course, our mommy tells us not to do these things. So as you can see, we’re a force of strong-willed, virile, young-adult toddlers. By no means am I advocating for universal supervision of on campus activities; we’re past the point of pacifiers, and wow, would that be horrible. But the concept of “free,” coupled with a little harmless danger (at least until now), is the ultimate aphrodisiac to a college student. It’s like putting Gisele Bundchen in front of me and asking me to listen to what you are trying to tell me…simply not happening.
I sincerely hope that Bon Appétit doesn’t hate us, because we don’t hate you. You may take away our tomatoes or our bananas or our free sushi, but really you’re just being a good mother, and we realize that. You provide us with campus food that is largely unparalleled across the nation. While this is all well and good, the fact that you are, and I use this term loosely, a big, faceless “corporation,” makes some feel less bad about taking that sushi. And so, I have your solution. Put a sticker of Grandma on the sushi. No one likes the yellow stickers, and no one likes to steal from Grandma. Problem solved. I’ll accept my check in the mail, thank you.