Dining hall theft is a pain in our wallets

The recent exposure of theft on campus should be met with shock and concern.According to UVM Marché Manager Bill Hackett, stolen food at the Marché and other dining facilities could amount to as much as $75,000 a year.Ever wonder why the prices at the Marché seem so high? Well, a $75,000 deficit doesn’t exactly pay for itself.The reality is that we pay for it out of our own pockets — increased prices and more fees in our tuition make up for the losses.The minority of students that are stealing food hand off the consequences to the majority of law-abiding students. And it’s not just food that people are pilfering.Even the mason jars at Brennan’s and the plates and bowls from the Marketplace have been taken.While dining facilities like the Marché are doing all that they can to prevent theft, it is important that students join in this effort, because at the end of the day, the money will come out of our pockets.Students can help by encouraging friends not to steal items and they can notify Marché workers of any incidents they see.Of course no one wants to be the one to get other students in trouble, but unless you’re willing to prevent these incidents, you might as well just swipe for the person instead — either way, you pay for what they’re taking.Furthermore, Hackett made it clear that Marché staff is trained to deal with these incidents in a stern but respectful manner. He explained that they understand the financial pressure that some students are under and that they don’t want to humiliate any students.The fact of the matter is that on-campus theft should not be an issue.There should not be any students having to decide between stealing or going hungry.If there are, these students need to contact Student Financial Services and the Dining Services so that they can get them an accommodating meal plan.The University of Vermont is an institute of higher learning and with that comes higher values. On the one hand, students should not be willing to lower themselves to the point of stealing — from anywhere, let alone our own institution. On the other, students should not be content to let their fellow students go hungry.We are a community, which means that we share our burdens. As a community we need to work together to prevent theft instead of paying for it.