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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Grand Theft Sodexho

Grand Theft Sodexho

College campuses across the country have never been known for their particularly “tasty” food, but beyond appetizing food options, students are now criticizing nutritional value as well as cost. They are taking the matter into their own hands by applying the five-finger discount.

From the food court in Quinn to the cafeteria in the Campus Center, students of all ages know the strain on their wallets of purchasing just one meal, let alone lunch everyday plus coffee and possibly a midday snack. Many, however, also know the temptation of sliding out of line and treating themselves to a free meal.

“I never normally steal, but you have to eat everyday,” first year student Kim B. explained. “If they make the lunch food so expensive and so easy to steal of course I’m going to do it.”

A soon-to-be college graduate was spotted leaving the dinning hall in the Campus Center and asked how he felt about stealing food. “I left my money at home today,” he sheepishly stated, showing little remorse. “It’s really expensive, and we don’t have a meal plan so I’ve got to bring money everyday, and sometimes I forget.”

The layout in the cafeteria only adds to the lure of strolling out without handing over ones hard earned cash. David Levine, general manager of Sodexho, admitted the “design of the room does not create a flow … and people disappear.”

For those attempting to stay health conscious and avoid the infamous “Freshman Fifteen,” students may opt for a salad rather than a fast food hamburger. However, after closer examination it becomes apparent that the double cheeseburger is a far better bargain for your buck than the salad or wrap one can purchase.

Kim B. has taken notice of the inequalities in the lunchroom: “The bad part is the cheapest food is Burger King, which is the unhealthiest, but it’s the tastiest.”

While higher in price, campus dining services do offer a fair amount of “healthy” foods throughout our campus, and provide a rather astonishingly detailed website through UMass Boston’s main page that supplies students with nutritional information from recipes used all over the university.

Though the more expensive foods tend to be the healthiest, a price comparison chart from the Dining Services Advisory Committee show that on average, food prices at UMass Boston are actually cheaper than Northeastern, MIT and Harvard.

For students who wish to save money as well as take the more expensive healthier route, an unlawful alternative is increasing in popularity. Though illegal, more and more students are turning to crime to satisfy their health food needs as well as the desire for their wallets to stay plump.

The long lines are yet another reason students are prone to walking out with their meals. At food rush hour, usually peaking between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., it can take several minuets to wait to pay, but with the open door just feet away and the cashier busy with impatient students, it sometimes seems easier to just step out of line and walk out.

Economical students may try to bring paper bag lunches from home in order to save time and extra money. Back in elementary school, children had their mothers and fathers to pack lunches each and every day, but students attending a university must find the time to prepare themselves a to-go lunch, which they often can’t find and will in turn settle for a quick burger at school.

At other campuses, students have the option of running back to their dorm room stocked with the foods of their choice, or just swiping their meal card for any food they wish without worry about price. At UMass Boston, on the other hand, most students live miles from campus and this is just not a possibility.

Students are left with few choices if they wish to save money and remain healthy. Could it be possible the school is subliminally encouraging dreaded weight gain by making healthier foods higher priced? Unlikely, considering the fact that health stores, such as Whole Foods, are more expensive than Shaws or Stop n Shop. It seems as though the US, as well as the university, has sadly decided to capitalize by making us pay to be healthy instead of rewarding us for finally making health-conscious decisions.

Dianne D’Arrigo, Assistant Vice Chancellor in Campus Services, reminds us that “Sodexho is part of UMass Boston, and when students steal they are not stealing from an outside company, they are actually stealing from the university.” Students have shown that the only way they see to stand up for their right to eat healthy and cheaply is by strutting away with a tray of free food.