Donations shouldn’t be made without consent

Story by Courtney Kueppers, Copy Editor

I was raised in a house that valued eating healthy.  My parents fed us organic food and home cooked meals every night. Eating healthy became a staple in my life. I was that kid in high school who brought my lunch from home everyday.

So you can probably imagine that I was not overly excited about eating cafeteria food for every meal. I actually dreaded it, and my emotions didn’t change once I arrived at school and had eaten in the caf. I hate it. There I said it- I dread going and I struggle to find something I like.

So when signs started showing up for “soup and bread night” I was actually sort of excited (excited like finding out you don’t have any cavities at the dentist, not excited like a ‘class is cancelled’ email).

I like soup- I mean, I really like soup. Some of my favorite meals at home are soups- chicken wild rice, chili, and broccoli cheddar. I frequently go to Panera with my friends just to indulge in a bread bowl.

However, soup and bread night, much to my surprise upon arrival, meant only soup and bread… nothing else. And I do mean nothing. Cereal was not even an option, which by the way makes up about 90 percent of my diet since moving away from home. When I first saw signs for this “special” night in the caf I missed the fact that it was to benefit a local food shelter.

Here’s the skinny: the meal was served on Feb. 13 by volunteers and all money saved that night by not paying cafeteria employees and not preparing or offering other food was donated to Feed My People, an Eau Claire food pantry.

Before I get into my complaints about this I would like to state that I am completely and one hundred percent in favor of supporting food shelves. I have always been taught to give to those less fortunate than yourself. However, I have always thought it should come from the good of your heart – you should not be forced to donate.

So here’s my beef with this soup and bread night: students who live in residence halls are forced to pay an absurd amount of money to have a meal plan (a minimum of $1,400 a semester). Since I’m not at all a fan of the food you get for this large amount of money it has always made me a little angry that it is so expensive.

Which is why I think it is ridiculous that the caf can make the decision to have a night benefitting charity- not because I’m against charity, but because it’s not their money to donate!

We pay to get food and for the amount we pay I would venture to say we pay to get a variety of options of foods. When soup and bread became the only option for the night that variety was taken away.

I’m willing to bet there is someone on campus who doesn’t even like soup. Or what about those boys who look more like body builders who leave the caf with a plethora of dishes? It’s unlikely that soup and bread succeeded in filling them up that night. These are a few of the reasons I don’t think this night was particularly fair: you can’t take students’ money and decide to donate it to a charity without their consent.

Even though the news release for this event said it was student-run, who are these students? And why is it their decision to decide where all students’ money is donated?

Despite the fact that I like soup and the notion of being charitable, I felt as though this event was forced upon my fellow dorm dwellers and I. I do not appreciate other people deciding when and to whom they would like to donate my money.