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Posted on Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 10:26 a.m.

Cost of stolen dining hall dishware adds up at University of Michigan

By Paula Gardner

Dining halls offer more than meals to college students: They're also places where a cup, fork or plate could seem to be in easy supply.

According to a recent story in the Michigan Daily, students who took those items and other dining hall dishware cost the University of Michigan a lot of money last year.

Thumbnail image for trayless_02[2].jpg

In the last fiscal year, U-M spent about $40,000 replacing dishware that went missing or broke, according to the Daily report.

Who pays for that? University officials underscored that it's the student on meal plans.

Read the full story.


Stuart Brown

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 6:01 a.m.

Paula, The article ran in the Michigan Daily, so is so desperate for news it needs to copy material from the only remaining daily in Ann Arbor? Or is this an attempt to get the public's attention distracted from the $440 million White Elephant otherwise known as the rehabbing of the U's dorms? O well, I guess the Daily has its priorities right; focus on the really important stuff--like the $40K you can blame on the students, not the $440 Million you can blame on Mary Sue and the Regents!

Some Guy in 734

Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Well, naturally. People know what $40,000 is, so they can form an opinion about that. "$440 million" just becomes a cloud of syllables.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

Paula, You got snookered by a misleading byline and copied it, thus perpetuating the error. Here is the pertinent quote from the fledgling journalist's article: "Though University Housing doesn't keep track of how many pieces of dining ware go missing — whether they are stolen, damaged or accidentally disposed of — the University spent about $40,000 last fiscal year to replace and add necessary pieces." So, we really don't have any data on how much of the dishware/cutlery are stolen and how many are broken/damaged and need replacing. My supposition is that while stealing occurs, the vast majority of articles are lost by less nefarious means. Although it makes for more clicks on this article, I would suggest changing the title of this post.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

And next year they plan to go "trayless"? Is there any doubt that number of broken dishes will increase?


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

After 3 kids in college, one at Michigan one at Michigan State and one at Western, I can say they all have similar meal plans. While my kids lived in U housing for the first 2 years, they were under no obligation to take the university's meal plan. They could have opted out and provided their own meals. So when a student justifies stealing because of the high cost of the U's meal plan, I simply say don't take it and use the money however you chose for meals.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

I'm not saying it's OK to steal at all, that's your deal not mine. It's just not news worthy material as far as I'm concerned. So, why don't they report about the things that are stolen elsewhere too.


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

I just want to say...DUH! Every college and uni has this problem! Things break and of course students will "barrow" plates and cups. Is it right? No. But most students are going to find the cheapest way to get things. It happens. But no college or uni is going to implement a full body search on every student leaving a dinning hall. All they can do is make them leave their backpacks at the door. If you want proof, search the dorm rooms! Oh, wait, is that illegal too?


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

@Joe_Citizen: You say, "There is no evidence of theft stated here." From the Michigan Daily article: "Business junior Hiral Pithadia said his current off-campus house contains a fair amount of dishware and other supplies that he and his housemates have acquired from the dining halls. ... Pithadia expressed this same feeling of retribution and said he justifies stealing dishes because of the amount students are charged per meal, since he can find cheaper options outside the dining halls." I'd call that evidence. I'd go so far as to call that an admission of guilt! So, Joe, why did you have such a strong reaction from you when you failed to read the article linked to?


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

What about all the ashtrays and towels from all the hotels in the area, can we get a report on that too?


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 5 p.m.

So are you saying it is ok to STEAL towels from hotels? Your point makes no sense. The article has TONS of evidence. yes employees may take some of the dishware, but the article references ACTUAL students who somehow have dishware that is property of the UM. If the value lost per year is $40k as the U claims, would you be ok with ONE student stealing a University owned vehicle, because the UM is "filthy rich".


Sat, Oct 22, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

Huh, is there proof of this. Did someone eye witness the theft? The staff are all angels, and never broke any of the missing items. I can't even come close to seeing how this is news. There is no evidence of theft stated here. This is just hear-say. and unless there is an eye witness, this is not news at all. Please refrain from reporting none news stories, and why would you report on this anyway? Is the going to report on all collateral lose from all nonprofits in the city, or just the filthy rich UofM. Please tell.


Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 8:03 a.m.

Some reporters are known for reporting on non-news events.