UConn students are trying to use an embarrassing video of a fellow student berating food service workers who refused to sell him mac and cheese to raise money to give the employees a night out. "A top-20 research university shouldn't have to be redeeming its name after one bad egg goes and ruins our reputation," says freshman Sadie Rumsey, who with her friends has so far raised more than $1,700 via GoFundMe. The nine-minute, obscenity-laced video clip posted online shows 19-year-old freshman Luke Gatti arguing with (he repeatedly demands "Just give me some (expletive) bacon-jalapeno mac and cheese") and shoving Dave Robinson, a food service supervisor. Police and the manager say Gatti was refused service for carrying an open alcohol container.
Gatti is due in court Tuesday on charges of breach of peace and criminal trespass. Rumsey, 19, said she's talking with the school about how to make sure the food service workers legally benefit from the donations, despite state law and UConn policies that restrict workers from receiving gifts. Another potential problem: The school confirmed Sunday that Robinson had planned to move and was working his final shift that night. But university officials have been moved by the outpouring, says a rep, and want to recognize workers, "not just for the handling of this incident, but also for the ongoing hard work and great service." A local restaurant has donated $600 to a children's cancer charity after adding jalapeno to its bacon mac-and-cheese calzones. "I felt a little weird profiting from this situation," says the owner. "We're probably going to keep it going."