Rodgers library food policy is ridiculous

Letter to the Editor

Nearly every day, I enjoy a bagel in the designated student “lounge” before I start studying at Rodgers Library. Before I could take a bite Thursday, someone on staff told me that food from home was against policy. I was, however, allowed to enjoy something from the vending machine. I was told that there were benches outside where I could eat food from home.  Splendid: The cigarette ash-covered, rarely manicured, anything but comfortable, black benches outside, where the temperature was 20 degrees cooler and wind-blown mist made my bagel soggy.

I have no issue with the kind staff person. What chaps me is the policy — another regrettable result of a large academic bureaucracy that leaves too many people with the idle time to make idiotic rules. Undoubtedly, if they get the chance, they will respond in one of two ways.  First, the policy was necessary to avoid a foreseen problem or second, the policy is long standing and should be observed, regardless of opinion.

At its worst, the policy isn’t rooted in practical thinking, similar to the state of Arkansas’ law against mispronouncing “Arkansas” while within the borders. At its best (comparatively), the library policy is rooted in a commercial interest to encourage buying from the vending machines. Well, you’ll have to forgive me because in the midst of paying my way through school, I don’t want to drop a buck on “Andy Capps’ Delicious Hot Fries” that have enough sodium to dry up the Black Warrior River.

Perhaps they would argue that food from home creates more mess. Garbage. My bagel leaves no trace.

Should I also refrain from defecating in the library’s bathrooms if my stools aren’t the direct result of munchies from the vending machine? “That’s ridiculous,” you may say. The current policy is what’s ridiculous.

Casey Sturgill is a graduate student in sports management.