by Sonja Szlovicsak (Editor-in-Chief)
Once again, UFV has received high marks in the Globe and Mail university report card. It’s getting to the point where it’s almost expected. What will happen if UFV doesn’t receive top marks? Will Dr. Mark Evered and all the faculty end up unemployed?
Despite our high marks in areas of academics, like most universities, we scored very poorly on “Food Services.” We received a big fat C-. While that wasn’t as bad as our hungry neighbours at Kwantlen, it’s still not something to brag about.
What does this mean? UFV has horrible food, just like many other schools across the country. These poor marks weren’t mentioned in the press release UFV put out; instead, it focused on areas where we received A’s and B’s. But hopefully somebody is taking note.
Academics are important. We aren’t spending thousands of dollars to just hang out around campus. No, we’re spending copious amounts of money so we can actually learn something. However, that doesn’t mean university administration should focus their attention wholly on education and forget about those other minor nusances like health. (UFV received a B- in “Recreation and Athletics, which doesn’t sound bad until you compare it to other universities results; at best, we’re a low average.)
One could debate whether or not this survey is actually accurate (afterall, how many UFV students filled out the survey, and do we really know how our libraries stack up in comparison to, say, McGill’s library?), but this survey did make one thing abundantly clear: students are not happy with the food services on campus.
I’m not happy with the food services here. Casey’s is great, but they don’t have breakfast. When I headed over to cafeteria for breakfast this morning, I was informed that they wouldn’t be open until 8 a.m. If I lived on campus, and had an 8:30 a.m. class, where would I eat a hot breakfast?
To make matters worse, the agreement the university signed with Sodexho (the group providing food services on campus) prohibits other food services from coming onto campus. Want to have a bake sale? Sorry, not if there have already been two other food sales this month. Casey’s isn’t technically allowed to run on campus. Ah, but you are able to get a rather soggy tuna sandwich from the cafeteria.
All of this forces students to go off campus for good, reasonably priced food.
UFV needs to step up and start providing students with a place to get inexpensive, good food. Thus far, the SUS has been the group on campus trying to take care of students. They’ve provided students with a pub so students can get cheaper food; they’ve provided students with a U-Pass so we can get to cheaper food with out losing a parking spot; they’ve given students a gym pass so they can use some adequate recreational facilities (perhaps to work off that hamburger you had in the cafeteria…). All UFV has done is given a cafeteria company a monopoly on food services here on campus. And to top it off, they provide expensive, low quality food and keep bad hours.
We hear a lot of talk about creating a campus culture here. The first step is keeping students on campus. And bad food services won’t keep us here.