We’ve all done it, guys. The bookstore’s free snacks are an open invitation to gluttony, and most Ignatius students accept that invitation with abandon. Whether the treat of the day is Jolly Ranchers, candy bars, or home-baked cookies, you can be sure to see a line of kids stretching from the counter to Campus Ministry in between classes, all of them frantically trying to snatch one last morsel before trekking across campus. But one morsel only lasts so long, and in a sea of hungry teenagers it’s easy for a particularly greedy student to blend with the crowd. One snack turns to two, two to three, and a single lunch period can yield multiple return trips. Candy is delicious, and the bookstore has an unspoken honor code, so it’s fair to say that taking more than one sweet doesn’t break any rules. Almost every Ignatius student has been there, done that, and enjoyed the rewards, but in the absence of any actual regulation we can best display our integrity by using common sense.
As always, the question is not whether it is possible to commit crime – the sheer rapidity with which the bookstore’s candy disappears shows that the student body is fully aware of the holes in the system. The worst offenders will set their bookbags down by a freshman locker, grab a snack, and deviously circle back in to double up on their haul, while a certain junior opinion page editor has been known to take full advantage of the bookstore’s generosity to satisfy his Snickers cravings. The immediate payoff is indubitably sweet, but even the most unscrupulous Wildcat will admit to unease when reflecting on the impression his deed creates in the eyes of the Almighty. And as motivating as eternal torment may be, we are all supposedly Men for Others – people for whom even one immorally acquired candy bar, no matter how delicious, is beyond question.
So, in the future, consider the consequences. Your daily routine probably includes walking past the first floor statue of St. Ignatius, or maybe fist-bumping Jesus. In all likelihood, you stroll past Campus Ministry, and you assuredly take some form of theology. In the middle of your next visit to the Bookstore, your piggish eyes flicking side to side as you stuff misappropriated sweets into your bag, pause for a moment. Picture Mother Teresa, her life spent in the service of the poor, staring agape. Saint Ignatius, his life dedicated to the volunteer order whose members are your teachers, awestruck by your barefaced greed – at a Jesuit school, no less. I think I speak for all of us when I say that there is nothing charitable about taking more than your fair share. Lay off the treats, thank our volunteers, and, remember – the Snickers are mine. AMDG