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Added cost from dining hall theft only encourages

Letter to the Editor | Friday, February 2, 2007

On Jan. 31 a front page article detailed this year’s crime spree in the dining hall. Over 40,000 items were stolen, totaling a cost of $25,000. As a student at the university and an avid thief, I question the validity of the university’s claims. To begin, the numbers of items stolen are rounded off, and my guess is they are rounded up, perhaps to the nearest half-thousand. If the University wants to call attention to a theft problem, specific numbers will make the problem more realistic in the eyes of the students. Also, it is very likely that every missing utensil is considered “stolen,” including lost or broken items.

Secondly, Director of ND Food Services Dave Prentkowski threatens passing the cost on to the students. We already had $200 added to our tuition to pay for stolen items. This did not help cover the costs, rather it encouraged those not stealing to begin so they could get their $200 worth. Passing on the costs to the students is not going to fix the problem. This also fails to take into account the return of silverware at the end of the year. Many dorms have containers at the end of the year for students to return stolen dining hall goods that they stole for school-year-only use. We have senior citizen volunteers guarding the dining hall. Shouldn’t they be enough to catch the thieves?

If you ask me, the students are stealing for two reasons, neither being to “stock their dorm rooms.” The students want to make back the extra $200 on their tuition bill, and they want the challenge of successfully stealing from a guarded dining hall. Take away the guards at the exits and stop adding charges to tuition. The result will be an immediate increase in stolen goods, for probably a week, and then students will get bored and the numbers will drastically decrease. Now that I know I will be charged next year to replace equipment I’m not stealing, I may begin “stocking my dorm room” in order to cover the extra costs.

Tyler Elson


Dillon Hall

Feb. 1