Duke University students have a tradition of “tupping” — the art of sneaking food out of the cafeteria in tupperware.
Perhaps the cafeteria food is amazing at Duke, or food is more pricey in North Carolina than Mississippi, because students at The University of Southern Mississippi are not as keen to this master plan.
Southern Miss students are familiar with the Fresh Food Company and its creative dishes.
One may find anything from traditional chicken nuggets and fries to a masterpiece from the chefs of the Fresh, such as chocolate and peanut butter muffins smothered in raisins and bacon bits. Those who have been there know that it is never really as good as it may sound.
“I have practiced the art of ‘tupping’ in the Fresh, taking food like pasta, pizza, utensils, salt and pepper,” said Jalia McGriggs, a sophomore chemistry major.
“I normally eat food and then get to-go plates full of food that I can eat later, especially since I have labs at night. I also take fruits that I can put in my bookbag so that I can snack throughout the day.”
“It has saved me money, but a lot of times there’s nothing in the Fresh I really want to eat, so I end up spending money anyway,” McGriggs said.
Students at Duke have gone as far as to make grocery lists before entering the cafeteria. Some take a little, while others take as much as a duffel bag filled with fruits.
USM students are more courteous with their tupping.
“I take a carry-out plate loaded down with food I can have later,” said Leanna Hill, a senior laboratory science major. “I usually take a few apples or oranges, but only enough to eat later that day since the produce isn’t the freshest.”
Rather than abusing food privileges, some USM students only take the basics.
“If I take any food it is a fruit for the next morning or for a snack,” said Kristen McLemore, a senior sociology major. “Usually it is an apple. I haven’t ever done so with the intent of saving money, although I’m sure it has saved me money.”
There is the occasional person who is caught taking a jacket full of tomatoes or pineapples, but McLemore does not have any shame in her game.
“I’ve never been caught, but I’ve also never tried to hide it,” McLemore said. “I only take one fruit at a time and walk right past the workers and I’ve never been asked to not do so.”
Although the Fresh may not always have the tastiest dishes, students still appreciate their meals.
“The food isn’t the greatest, but I do enjoy the variety available,” Hill said.
“It’s really great that they have a smart side and salad bar. I just wish they wouldn’t make these weird goulash dishes like that sandwich or waffles with nacho cheese and hamburger meat. Just keep it simple.”