Volume 92, Issue 8

Wednesday, September 16, 1998

wheeling and dealing


Charge it to my meal plan, please

By Neil Malhotra
Gazette Staff

In a perfect world, you could use your meal card everywhere in London. But due to logistics, it is not possible. However, there is no reason for you not to be able to use your meal card everywhere on campus.

The amenities on Western's campus are supposed to be here for the benefit of the Western's students. Wasn't the University Community Centre built with the idea of creating a place that helps students by bringing important services to campus?

The campus should not be viewed as a marketplace – the University Students' Council and Housing and Food Services should be working together as much as possible because they both have their bills paid by our tuition.

The primary deciding factor in the Western 1 issue should be that students want to be able to buy food at The Spoke and the Wave with their meal plans. And the answer has been an overwhelming "yes" – according to surveys done by Food Services.

If Food Services is actually scared of the competition that would be created by allowing the meal plan to be used at the campus bars, then maybe they should take a look at their own pricing policies. If CentreSpot sales were to decrease, it would be because it is the most expensive fast food in the City of London. It costs seven bucks each time you want to eat a meal there.

By adding The Spoke and/or the Wave to the meal plan, Food Services would be removing its only competitive advantage. Food Services would no longer be able to charge ITS OWN students a premium for eating at THEIR OWN university. Perhaps they would just use it as another excuse to raise tuition and residence fees.

There is no legitimate excuse, at least from the perspective of someone who already pays to be here, to not have the ability to use the meal plan at a location on campus. If it is the politics that is holding Housing and Food Services back from helping the students, then maybe it is time for them and the rest of the administration to re-examine their goals.

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998