The recent increase of campus vandalism and other disrespectful acts has led SGA and the newly revived Wooster Ethic Committee to look into ways to improve respect for the workers at Mom’s Truck Stop.
Mom’s, the only on-campus food location that both accepts flex dollars and is open until 3 a.m., receives heavy traffic from students who are up late and who have often been drinking. Though Mom’s has typically had more of a mess to clean up on weekend nights, this semester has seen what some consider an excessive amount of damage and disrespect, including a window broken in the first week of the semester that amounted to $670 in damage.
“For the most part, students are pretty respectful,” said student Mom’s worker Zoë Kopp-Weber ’14. “When I work at Mom’s and the C-Store during the day, students are often patient and say please and thank you, and I really don’t mind my job. But then the weekend hits,” she said.
“I remember being one of those students who would come inebriated to Mom’s, I would yell when I saw my friends, I’m sure I sometimes didn’t clean up the mess I made,” Kopp-Weber said. “However, at some point I think someone’s got to tell students to straighten up, and it shouldn’t be the workers over the microphone.”
According to some students, the situation has become worse over the past few years. “Students have shown less and less respect for Mom’s staff and facilities over the course of my time here,” said Gareth McNamara ’14, an employee at Mom’s and the C-Store. “I think people fail to appreciate that every bit of trash they leave behind, every piece of food they drop on the floor, every puddle of puke they leave behind all have to be cleaned up by someone, who is there until four in the morning or later doing so.”
“While I’ve never had anyone be really rude to me personally, the Saturday late shift can be pretty crazy,” said an anonymous student Mom’s worker. “Lots of people are coming in drunk, and it seems like nearly every week there’s someone who throws up in Mom’s. Usually there’s a pretty big mess to clean up that night.”
On one night earlier in the semester, three students vomited in Mom’s, forcing it to close early and angering the large number of students who attempted to enter.
“It is definitely not the Mom’s staff’s job to clean up after your puke, said Kopp-Weber. “And to get mad when we close down because, one, you have abused your privilege and, two, because it is a health hazard — that’s just ridiculous. It’s really frustrating to see these students who are supposed to be some of the brightest people treat an establishment so recklessly simply because they are drunk.”
“Not only do these people work hard, they’re extremely patient and tolerant with students, and we really need to start showing the same consideration in return,” McNamara said.
The situation may be improved by simple student intervention. “I honestly think that students need to start setting examples for other students,” said Kopp-Weber. “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘Hey that’s not acceptable,’ or even just clean up someone else’s mess just because it’s a nice thing to do.”
Mariah McGovern ’14, Chair of the Student Advocacy Committee, Ginna Rich ’14, Chair of the Outreach & Diversity Affairs Committee, and Kopp-Weber have joined Dean of Students Kurt Holmes in a revival of the Wooster Ethic Committee, which is still in its early stages. The committee and SGA have expressed interest in promoting a greater atmosphere of respect on campus, including Mom’s. One idea they considered was putting a camera in Mom’s and playing the footage in the Lowry Pit so that students can see the damage done to the area.