Cafeteria Ethics

As fun as this looks, we should have better manners

As fun as this looks, we should have better manners

Call me the Lucifer of the Ratty. Last year I cut every line, smuggled food out every visit, and once I found myself snatching the serving utensil at the chef’s corner out of someone’s hands before they had served themselves.

I never questioned the ethics of what I was doing last semester because…well, I was hungry. But this year I’m turning over a new leaf.  Why?  Last time I cut the student centipede, the two ladies at my back kindly reminded me that there was a long file of Brunonians behind me (awkwarddd). My heart must have grown three sizes that day, because later I was at the V-Dub and paused at the thought of taking the last two chicken parmesan cutlets.

But why should I feel guilty? I am the overlord of the omelet line, sultan of the salad bar—that chicken is mine! As I was doing laundry that night, a stranger accosted me in the basement, calling me “THAT GIRL WHO TOOK MY CHICKEN.” He broke me.

I don’t want to be that chick who took the chicken, and neither do you, so here are some guidelines for being polite in the cafeterias while still doing good by your tummy:

Taking the Last Slice:

But I want it!

But I want it!

Ethical: This is okay at the Ratty where the food is restocked rather quickly.

Unethical: When you’re at V-Dub with the smaller staff, this is more risqué (see above).

A Happy Medium:  Really can’t resist?  Apologize to the person behind you before you go for it.

Crossing The Line (literally):

Ethical: When you are joining in with a friend.  We all do it, just make sure it’s an actual friend, and not some rando from your weekly 200-person lecture.

Unethical: Cutting when you don’t know anyone in line – get to the back of the line dude, that’s not cool!

A Happy Medium:  The line is super long and you could eat a horse?  Try an appetizer.  The soup station and the cereal section never have lines, so stave off your hunger for a bit until the crowds simmer down.  Another thing  – the pasta corner is your best friend!  Just cut around the back. No one in that long line is waiting for just pasta and tomato sauce, so help yourself!

Smuggling (V-Dub? try V-Thug):

Ethical: Bananas and Desserts are always safe.  Another fun snack – a to-go cup full of cereal.

Unethical: A bag full of cereal (don’t ask how I did it). Not only is this a messed up thing to do, but trust me, YOU DON’T WANT THAT MASSIVE BAG OF LUCKY CHARMS. I know you think you want it now, but your swimsuit body will never forgive you.  Also, don’t steal ten pieces of fruit – it will rot before you get a chance to eat it.

Be Slick: Why?  Because if Gail sees you she will have to say something, and we don’t want to get Gail involved, so be discreet with whatever you interpret as your “to-go” box.


Ethical: It’s cool to sit down with your friends at a table that only one person is sitting at, as long as you are polite to them.

Unethical: Being a dick to the person who’s table you just stole.  Also, sitting down when you see people’s coats that are saving their seats.  That’s not an honorable strategy; you don’t know how many people might be sitting there.

Ice Cream:

Ethical: Making yourself a nice bowl of M&Ms as a side to your Sunday Sundae.

Unethical: Finishing the crushed Oreos. Whoever is doing this, please stop, you are making me and everyone else on the meal plan very sad.

Cleaning Up After Yourself:

Ethical: After asking a BuDS worker at the Ratty, the preferred way to clean up after yourself is to simply place your tray on the tray rack after you’re done with it, instead of scraping your plate off in the garbage and stacking it in the blue bins. I originally thought that the tray stacks were the lazy option, but apparently it’s the easiest way for them to clean the dishes.

Unethical: Leaving a mess behind on the table.  This is just wrong.  You’re a college student, clean up after yourself.  The BuDS workers are our friends and occasionally sneak us sweet potato fries post-7:30, so be nice and don’t treat them like your mom your slave (and on that note, everyone should be nicer to their moms too!)

Considering the Ratty was the only thing open during Nemo, let’s all do our best to act civilized (at least until later on tonight)!

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