Print Edition: June 6, 2012
Before reading this, go read my article concerning the closure of AfterMath. Otherwise you won’t know what I’m referring to, and you might draw conclusions you shouldn’t be drawing.
In 2011-2012, AfterMath cost the SUS $159,000. This means that SUS spent more on AfterMath last year than any other item in their Operating Budget (which does not include programs such as the U-Pass or the Health and Dental Plan). SUS did not mean to spend this much money on AfterMath, and they did not mean for it to become the single most expensive item on the budget.
But it did, and your and my money paid for it.
When I first began to pursue this story, I was appalled by some of the numbers. Yet I quickly discovered something that, I think is important to bring to the discussion.
Campus pubs, restaurants, grills, they all lose money. It’s the nature of the game. A normal restaurant on South Fraser or McCallum can draw its patrons from the entirety of Abbotsford; AfterMath draws customers from the entirety of UFV. That isn’t a winning proposition, in fact, that’s a death wish for any eatery needing to turn a profit.
So the real question is: how much money are you as a student prepared to pay to keep AfterMath on campus? How much do you care about cheap burgers, drinks and an alternative to Sodexo?
The president and vice president of the Biology & Chemistry Student Associations, Jennifer Martel and Gagan Mahil, have made their choice. Their perspective, having been organizers of the highly successful “Big Bang” event at AfterMath last semester, is an interesting one.
“We want to do whatever it takes,” said Martel, “Whether it’s getting more students to go and eat there, or if it’s signing petitions, sending letters, whatever it takes.”
“For hosting events for any of the associations,” said Mahil, “AfterMath is the most viable thing. If you wanted to have a meeting or some sort of event like The Big Bang was, you would have to have an outdoor stage, catering services, fenced-off areas, liquor licensing, all those things that would add up to a lot more. It might not feel the best to lose money in that sense of paying for the deficit, but it’s better to some sort of community at the school.”
As AfterMath grows and matures as an organization the deficit will shrink, hopefully to a level more reasonable for a restaurant of its size. But is the student body of UFV willing to provide the time, the patience, and the finances for it to do so?
How much is AfterMath worth to you?