Print Edition: October 31, 2012
You really want to save AfterMath? Boycott Sodexo.
Yes, that means cutting out Tim Hortons, the cafeteria, even the Roadrunner cafe.
It won’t be easy. It might involve packing a lunch instead of buying a bagel at Tim Hortons, or picking up a coffee on your way to school, but when you can spare even 25 minutes for a meal or a beer, make your way to AfterMath instead of the cafeteria.
It’s the only way to save the nearly insolvent centre of campus life by both pumping in extra cash and, in the long run, sending a message to the university that these kind of exclusive contracts may help keep the capital expansion fund flush, but they suck true university development dry.
AfterMath is crippled by Sodexo’s food service monopoly. Unable to directly compete with the food and services provided by the cafeteria and Tim Hortons, our SUS-run pub doesn’t ever stand a chance of balancing the books or at least significantly reducing its losses to a manageable level.
This goes beyond just individual menu items, but things like take-out services as well. Students are often running between classes trying to catch a meal. Providing a to-go counter, especially at high traffic times, would be a boon to UFV’s social house, driving in tons of additional revenue and allowing AfterMath to better serve student needs.
AfterMath would be, for once, taking advantage of its location in a renovated concession stand by being able to open their shuttered service counter.
The Sodexo contract doesn’t run out until 2016, but at the current rate, you can bet the university and Sodexo will be eager to re-up for another term. Don’t just let that happen. Don’t doom another generation of UFV students to a stifled campus culture and impossible fights just to host a yearly barbecue.
In recent years, the university has been incredibly short-sighted in its so-called development deals. Rather than bettering student services, fostering a vibrant campus culture and improving instruction, the administration has myopically pursued funding for splashy capital projects. Brand-new buildings and refurbished spaces are a wonderful thing, but what’s more important is what fills those hallowed halls.
We can’t count on the university to consider students’ best interests when there’s a big payday attached. But who can blame them unless we make our discontent known?
The deal with Sodexo is good for lining the pockets of UFV’s development fund and its bigger is better philosophy, but it’s time for this university to grow up and understand why expansion is not the same thing as development.
Don’t just write-in. Don’t just like a Facebook page. Don’t just shake your head and wonder why.
Speak with your wallet. Save AfterMath and save UFV from itself.