Students and staff sound off on food and drink policy in new COBA wing

Dean Robert Anderson may be in the final stretch of his tenure at the College of Business Administration, but his e-mail to faculty about the food and beverage policy proves he’s not through yet.

On Feb. 8, about 30 faculty members received an e-mail reminder of the policy that states no food or beverage except water is allowed in the classrooms or the atrium of the college’s annex.

“Students have been observed entering classrooms in the Graduate Education wing carrying coffee,” Anderson said in the e-mail. “Everyone is expected to adhere to this policy, and faculty members who teach (in the building) are expected to enforce this policy.”

But students who frequent the building say that Anderson’s rules are too strict.

“Our class was spoken to about bringing coffee, chips and candy into the class,” graduate student Braulio Vicente said. “People need their coffee or a little snack. I can understand (banning) hot food.”

A majority of students and staff who disagreed with Anderson would not give the Oracle their names. Many staffers said because they’re not tenured, their jobs may be at stake.

However, students and staff said they wouldn’t carelessly spill food or drink that would ruin the building’s plush interior – especially when they notice the dean approving catered luncheons.

“There seems to be a little of a status issue, too,” a marketing instructor said. “Somehow students aren’t allowed to do this, but if the dean wants to hold an event (the rule isn’t clear).”Anderson said students and faculty may “grumble and groan” about the policy enforcement, but that as a whole, students respect the policy.

“I nor anyone else is not going to stand down there everyday,” he said. “It’s like a speed limit sign. A vast majority of people come close to following it, some don’t, but (the sign) is right there.”

According to the Student Code of Conduct, Anderson – or anyone else – can take the food and beverage policy a step further by referring offenders to the Office of Student Judicial Services.If that occurs, the associate dean of students within SJS will hold an initial review with the offenders to determine if there is a reason that the student code was violated.

But Anderson said he won’t do that because he trusts his students to respect this policy.

“If someone were purposely defacing something – and even in the old building – then certainly I would call,” he said. “I fully expect that the professors (act as) role models.”Because of the major needs on campus, Anderson said he wants to treasure the college’s new building by keeping it nice for future classes.

Anderson said if the faculty decides not to enforce the policy in their classes, then he will find a new location for the class. He said faculty should notify him today if they feel they can’t adhere to those rules.

Regardless of the complaints, Anderson said he’s sticking to his policy.

“If the next dean or whoever wants to change the policy, then they’ll change it,” he said.