David DeVoss, chief of police and director of public safety and emergency management, said via email the Dining Services staff at Winslow Dining Hall has contacted University Police to report two incidents involving the same two people taking food without paying.
Mike Young, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said the issue involved someone allegedly trying to sneak into the dining hall through exit doors.
Young said two brothers, one of whom is a non-student, were involved. The non-student was banned from Winslow and the affiliate was talked to about not allowing his brother access without paying.
Neither brother now attends Murray State, he said.
Timothy Bruce, department chef manager of Winslow Dining Hall, said he knew of one of the instances but did not contact public safety about it.
“In the two years I’ve been here I’ve never had to contact campus security,” Bruce said.
One case on Oct. 5 warranted the Murray State Police to arrive on scene at Winslow Dining Hall to handle the incident, according to official police logs.
Bruce said on the instance a non-student attempted to sneak through a line of students, an unusual occurrance.
“I know of no instances where citations were given, although there have been instances where we have had to clarify the rules,” Bruce said.
Bruce said the problems typically arise with incoming freshmen or international students who are unaware of the rules set in place.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs who serves as interim Dining Services director, said the issue is smaller than it appears.
“I think there has been some misunderstanding with the international students on what they can take out but those rules are explained to them when the need arises,” Robertson said.
Rules Bruce mentioned include not allowing students to share meal cards, charge their account for a to-go meal but eat inside, take extra food to-go or take multiple items from the facility without using a to-go charge.
Bruce said the general rule is if students pay to eat at the facility they can eat as much as they want while they’re inside the building. Students should leave when they’re full, not taking extras. If students get a to-go box at the door, they are allowed to put whatever they want in the box and cup with a limit of two entrees. If a student pays to have it to-go, they need to get their food and immediately leave, he said.
When an issue comes up, the student or students involved have a meeting with Bruce, Joseph Woods, assistant manager of Winslow Dining Hall, or Tresa Jones, facilities food service supervisor.
Bruce said a handful of students may take advantage of the system, but most Murray State students know how to behave.
“One or two might try and abuse the system but in general there is no problem,” he said.
Bruce said there is no definite issue and when a problem does come up it takes a judgment call to decide whether the problem warrants a discussion that take place under different circumstances.
The only reason the Murray State Police would need to be involved is if there were frequent offenders, Bruce said.
Some students said they were ignorant of any rules regarding the portions allowed with to-go meals.
Amanda Robinson, freshman from Benton, Ky., said she was unaware of any policy.
“I didn’t even know there were set rules,” Robinson said. “I’ve never been told them or seen them posted up in Winslow. I don’t see taking an apple as stealing, but if you sneak through the lines like some people do, it is.”
Hailey Buth, junior from Louisville, Ky., said she was aware of general rules, but nothing specific.
“I’m not sure of any specific rules; I just know for to-goes you’re allowed two entrees,” Buth said.
Robertson said did not know of any issues regarding Winslow’s rules.
“I think the rules are pretty simple, but if people are saying we need to clarify the rules we can certainly do so,” he said. “(Winslow) has a limit on what can be taken out so the prices don’t go up for everyone.”