Tuesday, February 17, 2004

SIU students standing by their 'Munchie Man'

As a Saluki who rarely noticed this guy until my last few months in Carbondale, I don't have any kind of heartfelt feelings about this snack truck. And like the stoners-in-chief -- oops-- student government says, it's probably a plot by The Man to keep them down. This is where my love of tradition and need for propriety mix. Love of tradition? The snack truck has been there for 30-plus years. I never went to it, but the stoners, drunks and other assorted collegiate riffraff liked the guy. I don't buy the safety concerns since nobody drives around the east end of campus looking for a parking spot at night. You'll get ticketed or towed. Plus there are two good-sized parking lots within easy walking distance of the dorms, so it's not a traffic concern. Even on the west side of the campus, the parking is set away from the dorms. The guy isn't taking away from campus business any more than the stores on Main Street are, so the business angle isn't the reason. I don't think the safety reasons are there either. Not only that, why would you go to a snack truck when you can just stock up at the late-night food service on the east side of campus? Grinnell Hall had all the snacks and meals you could want until about 10pm. It was taken right off of your meal plan, so the only people who would go to a snack truck would have to have used all of their meal points. No one realizes how tough it is to do that at SIU. Even when I was on one of the reduced meal plans, it was still tough. Having on-campus restaturants, late-night meal options, a pizza kitchen in the Grinnell basement, and a couple of coffee bars that took the school meal plan means that there are lots of options besides the snack truck. He caters to the idiots and the desperate, and someobody's gotta do it.

The Student government is preparing its members to pass feel-good legislation showing support for this guy. That's nice, but pointless. If he moves his truck off of campus, I think people will still show up. You can't swing your backpack in Carbondale without hitting a stoner (and having to get the resulting bongwater stains out of your backpack), so this guy will stay in business no matter what.

No comments: