On Saturday evening, a food fight erupted in The CafÃ©, forcing it to close a half hour early. Many paying customers were upset because of the fact that this is not the first time an incident of this nature has occurred.
A series of food fights have occurred, the first of which began Halloween evening.
The CafÃ© does not close until 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, but CafÃ© service manager Tobbie Harley chose to close early this particular Saturday.
“It always starts upstairs in the side room at night,” she said. “It is like they go crazy at night.”
Food fights normally occur about once per semester, but there have been three in the past week. Security is a possibility, said Terry L. Woodard, the CafÃ©’s general manager.
“I am afraid that these food fights may break out into something more serious,” Woodard said. “Employees do not have the authority to handle events of this nature. We have to avoid a physical altercation, which is why we always call the (Florida A&M University) Police Department to intervene.”They have to be mindful of the students’ security and safety, Woodard said. “I don’t think they have made the transition from high school to adulthood,” Woodard said, referring to the students in the cafeteria.
The students started throwing food at around 6 p.m., Harley said. She then called the police, but she said they did not show up until 20 minutes later. “We cut the lights off trying to calm them down.”
Closing the cafeteria in case of a food fight is a common procedure for college campuses, Woodard said.
The cafeteria closed after the food fight participants had already left, punishing hungry people who had nothing to do with the food fight.
“I had not eaten all day and they sent me away hungry. The manager had an attitude with me. I called the police,” said Kara Alli, 18, a freshman communications student from Miami.Some students were upset with the management because there are not many places during the weekend where on-campus students can eat.
“What they did was not fair because The CafÃ© was the only place open for people to eat,” said Sarah Charles, 18, a freshman business administration student from Miami.
In addition to the misbehavior of some students, Charles said she was cursed out by an employee.
There was a server who snatched cups away from students who were reaching for them to get ice cream, which was the only thing left after servers cleared away all other food.
“I was sitting at the table, finishing what was left of my food, when an employee said, ‘Y’all got me f’ed up!’ ” said Adia Nesbitt, a senior elementary education student from Jacksonville.
“I walked into The CafÃ© to see food flying and people running,” Nesbitt said. “There was a security guard present, but he stood next to the register talking to the cashier. He did not attempt to do anything until it was already over.”
In response to the recent mischievous events, management has posted a copy of page 119 of The Fang, the university’s student handbook. Section 10, A, B, D and G lists the consequences for these actions.
Nesbitt also claims that food from The CafÃ© has previously made her sick, causing her missing class the next day.”We do not reuse food from previous days,” Woodard said. “According to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Plan, we must handle food properly from the time it is ordered until the time it is cooked.”