The Case for Friday and Saturday Snack
The end of Sunday snack is a tragedy that I am still mourning. Snack is a beloved institution at CMC and we are lucky to have it. To improve this excellent tradition, I advocate making snack a regular event on Friday and Saturday night. Let me explain why this a priority for CMC. Instituting snack on Friday and Saturday is important because it would help reduce the severity and number of alcohol-related incidents. Thursday night snack already confers many of these benefits due to the popularity of TNC, which is why snack should be extended to the other two big drinking nights on campus. Eating food, especially high protein foods, slows the absorption of alcohol into the body and thereby reduces the likelihood of people becoming intoxicated beyond their limit. Drinking non-alcoholic liquids, particularly water or sports drinks, is an effective method to prevent hangovers.
Additionally, the institution of snack may slightly slow the rate of alcohol consumption, which can help prevent alcohol poisoning. Certainly, people determined to continue drinking will sneak in alcohol or avoid snack altogether. Nonetheless, many people interested in food, will avoid the hassle of smuggling in alcohol and stop drinking for at least the duration of their time in the dining hall. Having snack on Friday/Saturday may also possibly reduce the frequency of drunk driving. Yes, drunk people can currently always go to the Hub, Coop, or Mudd Hole instead of driving, but another option would make drunk driving in search of food even less rational, particularly when snack is “free.” For the more sober-minded, snack on Friday and Saturday would provide another social opportunity for people who want to socialize at an event not dominated by the mutual consumption of alcohol (yes, these people do exist on campus).
Even if you think the public health benefits of Friday/Saturday snack are overstated, at the very least, people who are drinking would greatly appreciate convenient, “free” food and drinks. In my experience, most believe the marginal utility of food increases when they have been drinking. Similarly, the consumption of marijuana, another popular activity for CMCers on the weekend, is known to stimulate one’s hunger.[i] Furthermore, Gatorade and soda can serve as excellent mixers or chasers. The priorities of drunk and stoned CMCers rightfully do not usually factor into discussions about campus policy, but it might seems reasonable to include those priorities when making snack policy.
I realize there may be some practical considerations against this proposal and I want to address a few of them here. I can understand that many food service employees would not want to spend their Friday and Saturday nights working at snack, but perhaps overtime pay would entice them. Maybe budget cuts make fewer snack nights a necessity. If so, Friday and Saturday snack could replace Monday and Tuesday snack. I can understand Bon Appetit being reluctant to let hordes of drunk CMCers into the dining hall on a weekend night and possibly messing up the place, but experience proves this concern is not warranted: Thursday night snack and TNC have coexisted peacefully.
[i] THC triggers the CB1 receptor in the brain. The CB1 receptor is responsible for stimulating hunger.