The Dean at St Hugh’s college has clamped down on students chowing down on each other’s fridge food.
Dr Nicholas Perkins sent an email out this week to all St Hugh’s undergraduates, issuing a warning about the practice of food theft:
“It has come to my attention that people in more than one building are abusing the community’s trust by taking other students’ food from the communal fridges… If this continues, I shall take immediate action.”
Sara Polakova, the JCR President for St Hugh’s, repeated his concerns by commenting:
“This issue has arisen in the last week and we are dealing with it presently along with the Welfare reps. Without wishing to go into details, it was food theft which went beyond the casual nicking of milk or butter, and caused disturbance among some members of the JCR.”
But the problem, which seemed to arise from the Maplethorne Building was dismissed by a second-year resident who wished to remain anonymous:
“Is this not what student life is all about? I think the Dean would appreciate this if he had witnessed the same ownerless, week-old chicken leg, literally begging to be consumed, as I did that fateful Monday afternoon.”
This opinion was also held by a third-year student who dismissed the Dean’s email as “overly Draconian” and “unnecessary”. She continued by expressing surprise that “the college cannot trust adults to allocate their Fromage Frais and Cheese Strings fairly”.
On the other hand, Dr Perkins did appear somewhat lenient when it came to the issue of dairy foods: “It is not unknown for students to use a little milk or butter from a fridge when theirs has run out, as long as this is occasional and acknowledged.”
He continued by reminding students that “repeated and systematic taking of food from others is stealing and will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence”.
It appears that the Dean’s swift intervention has curbed the problem. “The culprits had the presence of mind to stop for the time being,” said Polakova, “and we have made the JCR well aware that any further stealing of this scale will be persecuted severely by college, which we as a JCR committee will support.”