Spoons are disappearing from dispensers at Salt Lake Community College at an alarming rate. According to Dining Services for SLCC, the unanticipated usage of spoons is creating a budget shortfall and the department may have to start charging for plastic ware that in the past has been distributed for free.
“We’re having to fill the spoon dispensers every five minutes, literally,” said stocker Gordon Isstmehr. “The knives and forks can go for a couple of days before we have to refill them, but the spoons…”
An informal poll of students at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus revealed that students have been using the spoons for multiple purposes.
“I find that they are useful for my Cap’n Crunch in the morning, my yogurt for lunch and my minestrone soup in the evening,” said student Marjorie Chose-La.
One student who had grabbed 15 spoons said that he had a dinner party planned at a hockey players’ retirement community for five people and the meal included three courses of food that could be eaten with a spoon.
The dining areas at lunch on April 1 were filled with students who had put spoons in the middle of their tables and were playing a card game.
“It just seems like a good way to pass the time,” said student Jeremiah Nixtuer. “I keep hoping that someone will organize a tournament because I am the best at this game.”
A group of engineering students sat in a circle just in front of the Administration Building with spoons in their hands.
“We wanted to apply what we have learned in our classes,” said student Fred Digstrum. “These spoons are really great for digging, so we are going to get to China before the school tears down this building.”
Leeloo Dallas only had one word to describe why she was using a spoon, “multipurpose.”
None of this really explains the rise in the popularity of the spoons, however.
“It was like it just happened overnight,” Issthmer said. “Last week, people were actually using fewer spoons than forks or knives, which is kind of crazy when you think of the knives’ dullness. They still let restaurants in airports use those.”
Walking through the Construction Trades building, stacks of spoons lined the walls.
“Just add a little super glue and these babies make great bricks for building,” said professor Bob Yamazaki. “We were kind of hoping that no one would notice, though. Making bricks out of the free spoons from the dining area is a good way for the college to save money.”
Student Carrie Armstrong noted that the spoons rested well together in the brick formation.
“It’s like they really enjoy being together,” she said.
Economy professor Adam Smith argued that the disappearance of spoons was related to the recession.
“Even children of the wealthy can’t be born with a silver spoon in their mouth anymore,” Smith said. “These are good substitutes, especially as the cost of fossil fuels rises.”
College officials found several boxes of the plastic ware at the Black Box Theatre on the South City Campus.
“We are doing an 80s’ sitcom revival,” said Professor Ricky Schroeder. “The Black Box doesn’t have the budget for the correct type of silverware, so we are going to spray paint these a metallic gray.”
According to Dining Services Director Edward Munch, the increase in spoon usage could have a drastic effect on the availability of anything that may be free today, including condiments, napkins and single-purpose knives and forks.
“We just ask that students realize that if they abuse the availability of free plastic ware, we will have to take steps to reduce their usage and balance our budget,” Munch said.