Political science freshman, Logan Leeks, always loved banana pudding. Though she never would have guessed that her love for the tasty dessert would ever result in a police officer showing up at her dorm wanting to speak with her.
Leeks was enjoying a meal in the cafeteria on Thursday, April 6, close to closing time.
“Because they were closing they were going to throw [the banana pudding] away, so the cafeteria staff were asking if anyone wanted it,” says Leeks. “Nobody else wanted it, so I asked if they could give me the whole tray and they said yes.”
She garnered a few laughs walking around campus holding her giant tray of banana pudding, so she decided to share a picture on the popular anonymous social media app Fizz. The post got over 800 likes.
Leeks said she shared the pudding with her friends, cleaned out the tray, returned it to the cafeteria, and the situation was over…or, so she thought.
On Saturday, the NCCU police posted a picture of Leeks on their Instagram asking the public to assist them in finding her.
“I was like wait, hold on, what’s going on? I wasn’t scared, but I was so shocked,” said Leeks. “Y’all are looking for me over banana pudding?”
She said she immediately called the police department to try and clear her name.
“I told them to delete it,” Leeks laughed. “Delete it now.”
Leeks said they sent an officer to her dorm, but that she did not get in trouble.
“The officer said it was a misunderstanding. He left, they deleted it, and that was the end of that,” said Leeks. “But I want everyone to know that I did not steal that pudding. I am innocent.”
She claimed that the police officer simply confirmed that she did not steal the banana pudding, apologized to her about the misunderstanding, and left.
Leeks posted another photo on Fizz later that Saturday with the officer letting the student body know she beat the case and she was safe. There are no records of this encounter on the crime log.
Leeks said her mother coined the term banana pudding bandit for her.
“I honestly thought it was hilarious,” said Leeks. “I’d definitely take another tray if I got the opportunity to.”
A cafeteria member who asked to remain anonymous said it was NCCU policy to throw away food at the end of the night, as they could be held liable if students fail to properly store the food and get sick afterwards. They also said that the cafeteria has experienced several break-ins because one of the front doors was broken, so the police may have been notified because they genuinely thought there was a theft.
However, students like Sam Uzoda, a biology sophomore and a friend of Leeks, said she thinks cafeteria staff should feel safe continuing to give students food at the end of the night.
“I thought there was no harm in trying not to waste food,” said Uzoma. “I don’t think anyone should be in trouble for this. There was no malintent involved.”
Currently, there are no proposed changes to NCCU’s food policy to discourage food waste at the end of the night.
Uzoma and Leeks said they enjoyed the banana pudding. Uzoda said it was even better the next day. Leeks says she plans to continue to use Fizz under the handle ‘banana pudding girl.’
Written by Nada Merghani, Editor-in-Chief