Cap Bar: To tip or not to tip?

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CORE DECORUM

Dear Decorum,

I am a frequent patron of the Cap Bar. I know most of the baristas, and they know me. Some even know my preferred drinks. Is it rude for me not to tip them?

Yours,

Confused Cap Bar Client

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Dear Confused,

Many students are unaware of what to do when buying Cap Bar drinks. The Cap Bar baristas are part of work-study, and they have the same wage as nearly all other student workers. In that regard, they differ from the baristas at off-campus coffee shops; those baristas make a lower wage because of the assumption that their payment will come from tips. At the Cap Bar, however, the tips are lagniappe (a Louisiana French word for “a little something extra”). Students should not feel obliged to tip their friends. In fact, many Cap Bar workers do not expect tips from undergraduate students; their tips normally come from graduate students or professors, who typically have a higher level of income. Since baristas do not rely upon tips for their full wage, students should not feel bad about not tipping. That being said, couldn’t we all benefit from extra generosity in our lives? Especially when that generosity is not expected or required?

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