Holding IDs Won’t Work

Ethan Cardona, Staff Writer

The Marketplace in Bartels will once again be collecting ID cards from students wishing to take a to-go box when they swipe in. Student’s IDs are held at the register until they retrieve them on their way out of the dining hall. This policy is the same one that was implemented by Sodexo in the spring of 2018. It was then lifted in the fall 2018 semester, before being brought back for the spring 2019 term.

“This policy was instituted to help ensure a level of control and monitoring when offering a takeout option in an all-you-can-eat environment,” said Michael Ward, district manager for university dining/Sodexo.

The intent of the policy is to prevent students from dining and then taking a to-go box of food, essentially getting two swipes for the price of one. The idea on paper seems to solve the problem, but in reality, it only creates a new one.

Taking student’s IDs doesn’t stop them from dining in before going up to a station a second time and taking that box to-go. They are receiving a box, but they aren’t obligated to bring that box with them up to the station they choose to eat at. It does, however, put students at a major disadvantage.

The lines into The Marketplace during peak hours are already enormous, and foot traffic is a major problem. Navigating around backpacks on the floor and other students rushing to get food between classes was already hard enough. But now there is a line to get out of The Marketplace, with students waiting to retrieve their IDs.

Students who have night classes with a short break between will often come in for a quick meal and take it with them, but that is a lot harder to do with the new implementation.

The idea has  created more problems than it has solved. While it may slightly encourage students to want to eat in the dining hall, the main reason they don’t stay is that the hall is so full during peak lunch and dinner times that it is often much easier to take food back to students dorms than to sit and eat in The Marketplace.

“We will continue to review alternative solutions to this policy that best serve our students,” said Ward. “We welcome your ideas, which can be provided by completing the feedback form on our website.”