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Common ways students sneak into cafeterias

February 26, 2015

For students that live off campus, Residential and Hospitality Services offer a modified meal plan allowing students to choose a minimum of 25 meals and a maximum of 175, each of them averaging a lower price per meal with more meals purchased.

Outlined in the on-campus housing handbook, “The misuse of meal I.D.s or removal of food from the dining room increases the cost of food service for all residents.”

In addition to the removal of food, the removal of utensils from dining halls also increase the annual price of meal plans.

“Depends on who is working, a decent amount of students get through in a day,” dining services student supervisor and supply chain management senior Julie Kanka said.

Technically, hosts are supposed to wait to hand IDs back to the student until the register approves the meal, but with long lines it makes it impossible, Kanka said.

Mark Yepko, reservations and assistant dining services manager of Culinary Services at Brody Square, has seen all the tricks.

The Drop

Student A swipes into Brody Square and then proceeds to walk toward the left side of the dining hall to an open, walled area. Student A then drops their Spartan ID down to Student B on the lower level and Student B swipes in.

The Handoff

Student A swipes into the dining hall, gets a meal and sets their items down. Student A then asks the host if they can leave the cafeteria to use the bathroom or go to the front desk. Student A then hands off MSU ID to Student B while they’re outside of the dining hall.

The Relay

Two students who have meal plans enter the dining using their MSU IDs. One of the students then waits 15 minutes for the re-use violation to expire and leaves the dining hall with both IDs. The student then meets another student outside of the dining hall and gives them the extra ID and scans in again with their own.

The Confident Caper

Student A confidently walks past the host, implying they are working in the dining hall with high hopes the host will not notice. The host in the situation might or might not stop the student before entering the dining hall.

The Lost in the Crowd

Student A attempts entrance during a rush, knowing their MSU ID does not have meals. The host, overwhelmed by the line entering the dining hall, quickly swipes student IDs without waiting for the register to catch up. Host then gives Student A’s ID back before authorizing the transaction and Student A quickly enters dining hall.

The Slip

Student A at Case and Shaw dining halls swipe their IDs to enter, then slip their IDs underneath the doors in the private study areas to another friend on the outside.

Dining services employee and kinesiology junior Austin Maas witnesses first-hand the amount of off-campus students who attempt to sneak into the dining hall.

“One in every 10 people try to sneak by,” Maas said.


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