By Sondra Rodriguez, Student Reporter
Some students no longer worry about rationing their weekly meal plans; instead, they sneak into the “World Famous Bean” for free.
Mary Bowman, supervisor of the Bean, said this has been a problem since 1997, and she has seen it more this year because of the remodeling that took place during the summer. However, not much has changed to increase the staff’s ability to monitor and control the issue.
“All we can do is watch that’s the only monitoring we have,” Bowman said. “It’s a constant deal, and it’s really hard because the students wait until we are swamped to sneak in.”
Bowman said she has seen students sneak into the Bean by walking in with students who swiped their cards, by telling staff they already swiped their cards and left to use the restrooms, or even by jumping the bushes to get into the back doors.
“We have regulars,” Bowman said. “I’m not sure what their situation is, but it’s really not fair to the other students who have to pay.”
Sometimes a police officer will stand in the Bean’s entrance to help staff, but Bowman said they still need more help from both people and technology.
“I really wish we had the financial means to install cameras,” she said. “I think it will benefit the university as well as Aramark. Monitoring is so hard because right at 11:30 when we open we have lots of students lined up, ready to eat, and there are only four of us working.”
Staff members are trying to implement policies to keep better track of who has swiped already, but Bowman said these are interfering with prior policies in the Bean.
“We’re trying to get students in the habit of leaving their cards when they go to the restroom, but then they get mixed up with the to-go cards,” she said. “The bathroom around the corner and the side doors really make it a problem. There’s no way of telling if they’ve already swiped in or not.”
Students also have noticed the issue.
“I’ve noticed that it would be really easy to do,” said Liz Coffee, sophomore advertising and public relations major from San Antonio. “I think it’s really upsetting and I’m really disappointed in the students who would do that.”
Bowman said she does not know the situation of students who repeatedly sneak into the Bean, but stressed the fact that “this is a Christian environment.”
Coffee agreed and said she hopes students will stop taking advantage of the easy accessibility.
“ACU has gone through so much to make our options better,” Coffee said. “I feel that students who abuse that are being very disrespectful to the efforts being made.”