Improv group works with Zorn Dining Commons to bring attention to stolen salt and pepper shakers

Shannon Flynn

Equinox Staff


The Keene State College Zorn Dining  Commons has already spent $248 replacing 240 missing salt and pepper shakers this fall, leaving it up to a flash mob to bring awareness to the students on this issue.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. a flash mob broke out in the middle of the DC. The group behind the event was KSC’s own improv group 3 Ways ‘Til Sunday, a performing troupe that puts on shows and attends conferences and workshops.

“We came to the conclusion that we were all really frustrated that people were stealing salt shakers,” Alex Davis, a KSC junior and publicity chair for 3 Ways ‘Til Sunday, said.

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Davis said the idea of the flash mob was brought up last year as a joke. The man behind the idea was KSC senior Ryan Glick, president of 3 Ways ‘Til Sunday.

Glick saimet with the General Manager of the DC, Josef Quirinale, to discuss the idea of the flash mob.  The two chose to execute the flash mob during the busiest time in the DC. Glick said there were approximately 1500 students eating dinner at the time.

“It was pretty packed,” Glick said.

When it came time to execute the event, Davis said, “It lasted like a minute. It was quick and fun. We wanted to keep it short.”  All ten members of the performing troupe plus a few other students who frequent the rehearsals entered the DC at different times, scattering themselves all over the first and second floor. According to Davis, they began to stand up one by one, with the first member yelling about not having any salt shakers to salt his food and it all took off from there.

Davis then said Glick came from the second floor of the DC in a salt shaker costume with a tray of drinks, dropped them, and all the members tackled him and chased him out of the DC.

“They came around and chased me through the DC. I made sure I went around to everyone,” Glick said.

Both Davis and Glick said the flash mob had a good effect on the students and got the point across. Davis said his favorite part was when he saw people running to the railings to see what was happening. “There was this nervous energy that kind of went over the DC when it first started,” Davis said.

Glick said the audience was very attentive to those yelling as he watched before making his appearance. Then Glick made his debut in the salt shaker costume from the second floor of the DC. “You could see it in their eyes they put it together,” Glick said.

KSC junior Allison Bedell  showed up to the DC that night with Davis, having knowledge of what was about to go down.

“I wanted a good seat,” Bedell said. She said she positioned herself near the burgers because she said the middle of the DC would be a good spot to watch. “It went really well and people laughed, which was the goal,” Bedell said.

KSC sophomores Kegan Donahue and Samantha Lord were also at the DC during the flash mob. “I thought it was funny,” Lord said. She did say she was a little confused at the beginning, but afterwards she realized it was a joke.

“I genuinely thought that kid was angry at something,” Donahue said before realizing it was all a joke. “I think everyone was in shock or awe,” Donahue said.

There was a lot of collaboration before executing the flash mob.  Davis said the staff at the DC began hiding some of the salt shakers  from the students days before the flash mob.

Davis also said that the DC agreed to turn down the music while the flash mob was in play seeing as the actors did not have microphones or anything.

The DC also covered the costs of the making and renting of the salt costume, Glick said. According to Glick, the costume was custom made from The Costume Ladies, a rental costume business located in Walpole, N.H. “The DC covered the charges because it was their event that they sponsored,” Glick said.

Quirinale said he wanted to bring awareness to the students the impact stealing both food and utilities from the DC has on their budget. “The sad thing is that whenever we have to replace something like a salt and pepper shaker, that really comes off the budget to buy food and I don’t know if students realize that. The less that leaves the dining commons the more we can put into that program.”

Quirinale said the dining commons replaces approximately $40,000 worth of china and silverware a year. According to Quirinale a coffee cup costs $7.94 and a knife costs $6.00 to replace.  “It’s quality service ware,” Quirinale said.

Compared to other comparable school’s meal plans, KSC’s is reasonable. Quirinale said a meal plan here at KSC is $2,872 per year. The University of New Hampshire’s meal plan costs $3,764 a year. Quirinale said he thinks students steal from the DC often because “It’s convenient for them.” Not only are students taking utensils, but also quantities of food other than snack-like items.

“The campus rules are that  it is an all-you-can eat facility while you are here,” Quirinale said. Students are allowed to take out a piece of handheld fruit, an ice cream cone, a cookie or a brownie Quirinale said.  However, stealing salt shakers and other utensils something that staff does not take lightly.

Shannon Flynn can be contacted at


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