St. Patrick's Day food fight breaks out in cafeteria

'There just really seemed to be the presence of intoxicated people'

Leonard Hall cafeteria was the site of mess and mayhem on Tuesday evening as students took part in a St. Patrick’s Day food fight.

Despite precautions taken by Leonard staff to prevent the anticipated incident, including placing personnel on watch across the cafeteria, the food fight began as planned at about five minutes to six after a spirited countdown.

Jeremy Yen-Chiu, ArtSci ’12, was at Leonard Cafeteria at the time of the food fight and said the night quickly turned to chaos as students began shouting and throwing food.

“It was a normal atmosphere to start with, but a lot of people were there,” said Yen-Chiu. “It got pretty rowdy. It was a bit louder than usual and everyone was dressed up in green. It was pretty much a normal day until people started yelling and stuff, and once they started, everything was just chaotic.”

Yen-Chiu said it appeared that nearly everyone in the cafeteria was involved in the food fight to some degree.

“I think some people were more into it than others,” he said. “It was more the one side of the caf than the other side, but pretty much everybody joined in, and some people just took it farther than others.”

Despite the chaos, the damage appeared minimal said Yen-Chiu.

“It was mostly just mess,” he said. “There wasn’t too much damage to the actual property in the caf. It was mostly just bowls and plates being thrown around and stuff like that.”

Yen-Chiu said he doesn’t regret being at Leonard that evening, even given the alleged repercussions taken by administration.

“It was definitely an experience, and I don’t regret going. I don’t care how much the fine was,” said Yen-Chiu, referring to the rumoured fee of $50 for all students who had been in the cafeteria that evening.

Hospitality Director Bruce Griffiths denied that any such fee exists.

“No, that’s only rumour,” he said.

Like Yen-Chiu, Griffiths said the damage to the cafeteria was not substantial, but left a large mess for cafeteria staff to clean up.

“Nothing sort of structural [was damaged], just a lot of broken cups and plates and wasted food.” He added that many of the students appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.

“There just really seemed to be the presence of intoxicated people,” he said.

Griffiths said that no punishment can be administered until those involved are specifically identified, which could be a difficult process given the disorder and confusion in the cafeteria at the time. “We haven’t been able to identify [the students that took part]. Basically what happens is everybody gets up and starts throwing. It’s very difficult to figure out who’s doing what at that point, but certainly if anybody is identifiable we’ll be charging them for the clean-up as well as any refunds to students who lost meals.”

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