Violet Reed, the vice president of the Student Government Association created the GroupMe chat, “Free Food at SHU.” The groupchat was created to help alleviate food waste on campus while also feeding hungry students. However, the GroupMe was terminated shortly after its creation.
Many clubs and organizations throw away good food after an event was hosted because they do not know what else to do with the leftovers. Reed, and other students who worked on the project, believe that throwing away untouched food is unacceptable. Although her GroupMe was not a permanent solution to fix the food waste problem on campus, she believed it would have a significant impact on eliminating wasteful practices.
“The GroupMe was shut down because we were operating the initiative on a platform that made it hard to monitor with large groups of people. Groupme is an app that is made for small conversations (under 200) and when you get close to, or above that problems arise,” Reed wrote in an email. “While I was the creator and main moderator of the group, I could not stop others from deleting members unnecessarily that they had problems with or from posting irrelevant information.”
Amanda Courtney, sophomore nursing major, shared her thoughts.
“Someone decided to send a very graphic picture [in the chat],” Courtney said.
Afterwards, many students left the groupchat and it was eventually shut down.
At its peak, the chat had about 400 members, making it difficult to filter or prevent inappropriate material.
Anybody representing a club had access to it and could join in, the purpose of the chat being that they could alert the group when they had leftover food to share with others on campus.
In the future, Reed said she and her team hope to create a more structured and controlled platform for solving the issue of wastefulness.
Jessica Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.