Mugs missing from Caf

Tableware thefts by students pose problems for Bon Appetit.


Marika Adamopoulos

Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES

Alondra Urizar, Writer

Bon Appetit has placed disposable cups for hot drinks in place of the reuseable plastic mugs bought at the beginning of the semester due to students stealing the mugs from the Caf.


The Caf started with a supply of 192 plastic mugs at the beginning of the semester, but the latest count by Monday, Nov. 2 was 57. This fall semester 3,000 students have enrolled for a meal plan on campus and Steve Rall, general manager of Bon Appetit, estimates as many as 20,000 meals are eaten each week.

Even with the visible decrease in mugs, there has been no change in the amount of tableware being removed from the cafeteria, Rall said. Bon Appetit at Biola has a budget of $60,000 annually to replace any broken, missing or outdated dishware.

“Every day when I go walk around, I’ll find cups, plates, down by the Common grounds area, you know, sometimes as far away as the Talon,” Rall said.

But Rall’s desire is not to keep a tight grasp on those who do steal from the Caf.

“We don’t want to run this like a prison, you know, gates in, gates out and that type of thing and lock down and being known as Cafe Nazis,” Rall said. “When we watch too hard on people or students for sneaking in those types of things like all of a sudden we got labeled as the Cafe Nazis.”


While some students admit to having taking dishware from the cafeteria, they believe it is fine so long as everything is returned. John Harzan, junior communications major notices students living off campus are less likely to take from the cafeteria compared to students who live on campus.

“Maybe like just a cup of ice cream or something like that or a cone of ice cream,” Harzan said. “So I’ve definitely seen it before at least living on campus. But I live off-campus now so I see it less.”

Freshman intercultural studies major Courtney Peterson has witnessed students stealing from the cafeteria but has also seen utensils returned the next day. Peterson sees the missing mugs and knows there are students taking tableware.

“I have seen people taking [tableware] out and talking about it casually. I’ve seen people take it overnight and when they go to breakfast or lunch the next day they’ll put it back in with the dirty stuff,” Peterson said. “I have seen some people take it and… people not bring it back.”


Though there are troublesome situations, Rall wants to keep the focus remaining on majority of students who are good.

“We’d rather concentrate on the 99 percent good people that deserve our attentions versus maybe the one percent or less than that get negative attention,” Rall said. “I don’t believe it’s outright, ‘Let me take this back to my room,’ and they know it’s stealing. I think their intent is always to return it but I think that’s where it gets lost.”

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