Print Edition: February 4, 2015
Looking for the best place to go eat when you’re in need of some serious studying? Or what about when you’re in a hurry and need something fast? Don’t fear, The Cascade is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of places to eat on and around campus.
The options of places to eat at UFV are slim, especially compared to larger universities close by, but plans will soon change that. The new Student Union Building, which will be opening in the fall, will include a coffee shop, as well as a new and improved AfterMath. Due to the much larger size of the restaurant, SUS president Ryan Petersen says there’s a possibility of new menu items, including healthier options.
“When the new building opens we’ll be able to expand [AfterMath] to have fresh produce, fresh vegetables, and fruits, things like that,” he says.
SUS isn’t the only one that may be bringing new food options to campus. UFV is currently in an exclusivity contract with Sodexo, making them the only food provider on campus other than SUS, as Cameron Roy, director of ancillary services, explains.
“We have a legal contract that’s binding us,” he says. “Any food that comes on campus has to either be authorized by Sodexo or my office, and by virtue protecting that legal contract.”
This contract will be expiring in two years, and Roy is seeing it as an opportunity to expand the food services that the university offers.
“The direction that we want to go with the next contract is to bring in brands, because students are so brand-aligned. Booster Juice and Subway are healthy options and that’s where students are going,” he says. Before the contract expiry, Roy adds that there are plans for a Sodexo-run Starbucks bar in the works for Abbotsford.
Bringing more food options to campus would create competition, which could result in lower prices and better quality services. Roy sees this as one of the downfalls of being in an exclusivity contract.
“Limiting the exclusivity almost challenges the vendor to do better and challenges themselves to secure favour; [otherwise they] might get a little comfortable,” he says.
SUS is also planning to keep their prices low, according to Petersen.
“Students are already supposed to pay so much in tuition, rent, textbooks, equipment, laptops, and everything else, so just loading on more cost through food, that’s not really that great. We always try to be very mindful of that,” he says. AfterMath’s prices are lower than Sodexo’s because SUS subsidizes the restaurant every semester, which does not happen with the cafeteria. Roy does not see this as something that UFV could do.
“I will never be in a position where I would want to subsidize services. That’s not the business model that I would want to be involved in,” he says. While the cafeteria’s prices may not be ideal, Roy says he understands that “they have to make a living; they have to earn money.”