Those students who are returning to Binghamton and using the dining halls have definitely noticed that the napkin dispensers which were once on every table are now nowhere to be found. I have no clue what compelled Sodexo to remove them. The idea probably came from some self-important student environmental group who thinks they’re saving the world by moving some napkin dispensers, while proposing this plan from their MacBook Pro’s in their comfortably air-conditioned New Dickinson “flats.” But just like almost any “green” regulation, it ends up not doing much good for the environment, while inconveniencing students.
If a student group thought of this, they probably thought that if the napkins weren’t at every table, people would take a few as they get their cutleries, and they would always pull out the exact amount of napkins they would need for a given meal. I can tell you from personal experience that I’ll often sit down at the dining hall, and realize I forgot my napkins. I now have the choice to either waste time and grab some napkins, or be a filthy mess and start eating anyway.
Moreover, who’s to say they were being greedy napkin bastards when the napkins were at the table? If anything, people would take one or two napkins at a time when they were at the table, and not take any more than necessary. Now that the napkin dispensers are in one specific area, not only are people inconvenienced, but they usually take a handful of napkins so they don’t have to leave their seat later on to get more. I’ve even seen students open up the dispensers from the top, and take large stacks for themselves. Not only is this is a major inconvenience, but it seems that students are taking more napkins than they were last year, which in case you forgot, was the entire damn point. And what do the students do with the extra, unused napkins that they grabbed because they didn’t want to have to get up again? They throw them out, when they could have just been left in the original napkin dispensers.
Maybe Sodexo thought of this, as a way to appease the increasingly pissed off student body. Instead of doing things that students would actually like, such as lowering prices ($10 for a few pieces of freaking fruit), they pretend to be “green” by inconveniencing everybody. Even if this “napkin commute” wasn’t Sodexo’s idea, it seems they had to have had this thought in order to go through with the plan. If somebody disagrees with me and wants to explain how moving some napkins around can actually reduce napkin usage, I’d like to hear it. But for now, it seems that this only leads to more waste and inconvenience, and it sounds like the student body agrees with me.