Stealing from on-campus dining services is not smart or acceptable.
The cost of living is rising.
Temple students know this all too well. According to the Center For Economic and Policy Research and Low-Income Housing Coalition, a study called “The Cost of Maintaining Ownership in the Current Crisis,” found that median rent prices in Philadelphia averaged $873 per month as of April 2008.
The rates for utilities aren’t going down. Take a trip to the grocery store, and you’ll notice food costs have risen as well. Although students may find it expensive to pay $6.95 per meal for lunch or dinner on campus, it should be expected that meal prices rise to reflect the increasing price of food and fuel, among other factors.
The cost of food on a global scale has risen to its highest levels since the 1970s. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said food prices rose 40 percent in 2007 alone, with a 9 percent increase just the year before. According to FAO, the hikes have been highest on staple products, including wheat, rice, meat and dairy products. When adjusted for inflation, the price increases aren’t so dramatic, but it still hurts those already struggling to make ends meet.
However, rising food prices do not excuse stealing food under any circumstances. Today, The Temple News reports that as much as $30,000 per academic year could have been lost to food theft at the Student Center’s Valaida S. Walker Food Court. Given the current economic climate and its effects on the services Temple provides, $30,000 could have gone a long way had the university actually collected that revenue.
While there is no correlation between the increase of prices and theft of food, the loss of so much money can be good for neither Sodexo nor the university. And both parties have to make up for that loss, too – whether it comes directly out of the wallets of students or not.
Stealing food is just not worth it. The extra $50 to $100 fine you’d have to pay can buy you almost 15 meals – and can save you both the trouble and the embarrassment.