My friends and I are debating whether or not stockpiling disposable utensils from our university dining hall would be considered גזלה (eg taking 10 spoons at once to use for cereal in your own room).

Can anyone think of any מקורות that would shed light on this either way?

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    When you do it, do you hide the spoons away so nobody sees you taking them out of the dining hall? – Daniel Jul 16 '15 at 14:46
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    Not necessarily. But it's not as if someone is standing and guarding the utensils, so conceivably when the utensils are taken, no one would now. – ekom12 Jul 16 '15 at 14:53
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    It sounds like it is. The intention of the utensil supply is for the purpose of eating your current meal, not for saving for future meals. Unless, the owner doesn't mind or expects people to take extras (and, perhaps, the cafeteria owner DOES expect this - in which case, taking a reasonable supply of extras may be OK.) That's a tough call, as you don't really know for certain. Safest idea is to ask someone in charge if you can take a few extras. If you want to act as a Chasid go above the plain rule and only take what you need, even if they DO allow taking extras. – DanF Jul 16 '15 at 14:59
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    Welcome to the site! To learn more about it consider taking the following short tour. – mevaqesh Jul 16 '15 at 15:01
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    @ekom12 Is the "use for cereal in your own room" one of the uses intended by the cafeteria? – Avrohom Yitzchok Jul 16 '15 at 16:51

There's a simple principle of proving it (Mishnah BM 6,2) "כל המשנה ידו על התחתונה", meaning "Whoever changes the established conditions has the lower hand".

As in this case you unanimously behave against the established conditions, the burden of proof (of your innocence) is on you, until then it's Safek Gezel.

EDIT: "the established condition" is considered either by "אזלינן בתר רובא" - "the majority of use/rs" principle, or "אנן סהדי" - "we/everybody would testify" by a Bet Din.

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    What do you mean by "established conditions" and how do you know what they are here? – mevaqesh Nov 9 '17 at 16:40

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