Disclaimer: All people, places, and events in this piece are presented in a fictional manner.
American society is enduring a crisis in the accessibility of higher education. In short, it is nearly impossible to find a decent career without higher education, but the cost of college is exponentially rising while four-year degrees continually depreciate in value. There’s little we can do to change the system, but we students can exercise the little power we have. We must rise up and steal silverware from the C4C.
The University of Colorado is where I dreamed of attending as a child. As an in-state student, it’s the best university I can realistically afford, and I had to work tirelessly just to compete with the best and brightest UC-Santa Barbara rejects. Thanks to academic scholarships, state grants, two part-time jobs, generous contributions from my lower-middle-class family and over $40,000 in student loans, I’ve made that dream a possibility.
The main issue I face, besides future crippling debt due to predatory interest rates, is affording the bare necessities in life. I can get by on Ramen noodles and instant coffee, as well as discarded bagels and free cookies at King Soopers, but I don’t have any utensils to eat with. I’ve been using plastic spoons and forks I took from the campus Starbucks, but where on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is having a machine-safe set of silverware?
Silverware is expensive. It’s $30 for a decent set at Target — $30 you could spend on four weeks worth of Ramen (if you ration). But what you can do is invest $7.49 for a single C4C swipe. With one swipe, you have the entire day to sit in the C4C to eat all the sustenance you could imagine. Then, when you are finally asked to leave at closing time, you can sneak a dozen or so spoons, forks and knives in your pockets. The trick is to not be too obvious, since you’re technically committing theft at a university that charges $500 per hour of class. You may experience some unsightly bulging, however, this is the price of revolution.
If you can’t afford that $7.49, it’s possible to befriend either a freshman or an out-of-state student whose parents pay for their seldom-used meal plan. The privatization of higher education is meant to keep us from climbing the social ladder, but if our privileged allies stand with us, the university cannot keep us from stealing silverware from the C4C. If you feel guilty about leaching off our allies, don’t. They don’t know what it’s like to not have any silverware, for they were raised with a silver spoon.
In addition to silverware, it’s smart to take all you can fit in your backpack. That means stealing hot sauce, taking tea bags and sugar packets, filling water bottles with fountain drinks and, for those who can afford plastic bags, packing food for home. If the French proletariat can rise up and storm the Bastille for bread and arms, we can exploit campus dining for provisions.
We may be doomed to a life of exploitation and class struggle, a deprived existence where we expend all energy just trying not to drown, a late capitalist hell that is so individualistic that if you were to starve to death everyone would blame you for not finding a higher paying job, but we can at least have decent silverware.
Contact CU Independent Humor Writer Sam Metivier at firstname.lastname@example.org.