Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students could use a punch card system to get free drinks from the Cage. First-years and sophomores haven’t been able to experience this system implemented in previous years – it is time to bring it back! Previously, punch cards kept track of beverage purchases, and after so many purchases students got a free drink. This system can easily be brought back as there are no critical sanitary issues to consider with punch cards. With punch cards, we students can reap the rewards of our multiple Cage trips with an occasional free drink. Additionally, this system could also create stronger community bonds. Many of us go to the Cage anyway, and having a punch card system for free drinks could be a great way for students to get together for study sessions near the Cage, a study break, or that Cage date you’ve been meaning to ask your friends or significant others to go on.
There was also a system where students could bring their own mugs to the Cage. In a conversation I had with an upper-class student, there was even a system where a sticker on a mug signaled students could get unlimited refills for that day. Obviously, with the COVID-19 pandemic, that system was shut down for sanitary reasons. Although we are not out of the woods in this pandemic, there are ways we could bring this back. In thinking about possible solutions to sanitation issues related to student mugs crossing into Cage processes, an overall lack of dishwashing stations on campus came into my mind.
A serious question to consider is: how can we implement sanitary practices like dishwashing around campus outside of our dorms? Let’s face it, sometimes we all put off our dishes, especially when the access to dishwashing stations in the dorms is so limited and far from rooms. If we can increase these sanitary habits across campus buildings, it may be much easier to implement a bring your own mug policy to the Cage. Having closer access to dishwashing and sanitation can help.
As students, we must also keep in mind how this will affect Bon Appétit workers. If we implement these policies, will it hinder their processes? It’s a conversation we need to have as students and Bon Appétit workers to reach a solution that ideally benefits both groups. If we implement both increased sanitation stations for dishwashing and a bring your own mug policy, it will be much easier to reduce packaging waste on our campus.
Lauren Schilling is from
Her majors are art history, race and ethnic studies, and studio art.