Less than a month into this fall semester, Metz food service issued a plea to the student body to return Ham plates and silverware. “They are missing more than half of their inventory of plates and silverware,” Resident Hall Director Amanda Haskins said in an email sent on Sept. 9.
This has been an ongoing problem for some times. Emails are sent out as though on schedule, asking students to return stolen items that Metz and its predecessor, Sodexo, provide in an attempt to avoid waste from plasticware. The ‘borrowings’ inevitably drive the cafeteria to return to less environmentally friendly options, a source of frustration for both employees and Council of Green Affairs members.
If it’s any reassurance, of course, this problem is nowhere near new. CGA minutes from October 2013 include a notice from former Vice President of Green Affairs Angelica Alexander (‘15) that 25 of 120 plates are missing.
2012 cabinet minutes include discussion from former Vice President of Green Affairs Taylor Filaroski (‘13) on how to negotiate keeping Ham green with the inability to keep plates in the building, including proposing compost friendly plates (Sodexo dismissed this as too expensive).
Emails from 2010 where students attempt to propose a plan for having a plate assigned to each student that they can use for Ham show a level of desperation aimed at negotiating between dishes being available and Ham remaining green. Within the thread students propose ideas such as chips on the plates that can be detected by Ham doors to prevent theft and removal; little comes from it.
And it goes much farther back than the past decade as well. A set of December 1995 Towne Meeting minutes include a plea to return plates from Ham. “We have lost hundreds of dollars worth of dishes,” the minutes lament. “When all the dishes are gone, STYROFOAM WILL COME BACK.”