It is a common practice amongst Texas A&M students to take food out of the dining halls across campus. Whether students are in a rush or just want to save a bit for later, swiping a little extra food has been common practice since the university began serving meals to students in 1876. However, a recent theft by Jacob Holmes at Sbisa Dining Hall has led Chartwells, the dining services provider at Texas A&M, to hire members of the Corps of Cadets to oversee the safety of its inventory. Holmes, a freshman Philosophy major, frequents Sbisa on a daily basis. He has one of the largest meal plans possible and says he sometimes still can’t get enough to eat.
“I really like the chocolate chip cookies. When there are good cookies, I always try to take at least 10. When the ice cream machine is working, I like to make ice cream sandwiches.” said Holmes.
Last week, Holmes was caught attempting to smuggle three entire packages of bagels out of Sbisa. He stealthily brought three one-gallon Ziploc bags and his backpack to ensure that he would have a clean escape. But while Holmes was on his way out, he slipped on a banana peel, and the freshman tumbled to the ground, sprawling all of his contraband across the Sbisa floor. The dining staff immediately alerted the University Police Department and Holmes was taken into custody.
“We get incidents like this all the time, but normally it’s only a bagel here, an apple there, small infractions. We have no protocol to deal with a theft of this magnitude.” said Lieutenant Lindsey Monroe, the officer first to arrive on the scene.
Holmes was left with a warning and a week-long ban from Sbisa Dining Hall, but the effects of his attempted theft have resounded with Chartwells. The company ensures that the necessary measures have been implemented to prevent further thefts. Chartwells has chosen to partner with the Corps of Cadets in this endeavor, hiring cadets to oversee the security of the dining halls. Two cadets will be stationed at the exits of Duncan, the Commons, and Sbisa, checking students’ bags as they leave the mess halls, to ensure that they carry no excess food. Cadets have been instructed to use any forces necessary to confiscate stolen food.
Student reactions to Chartwell’s decision to hire security guards are mixed:
“I guess I saw it coming. I used to smuggle out a bagel or two during my time on campus. I even heard a rumor that they were going to use Ms. Reveille to sniff out bags and packs,” said Amy Connolly, a senior Economics major who resided in Hart Hall during her freshman year. “Taking a package of bagels seems kind of justifiable, considering we essentially pay like $10 for a meal trade every single day. I wish I would have thought to bring a backpack to Sbisa during my undergrad years.”
—Buffalo Wild Wags