By Lee Richardson
Food is a debate-worthy topic on campus these days.
Or at least it is to the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), regardless of how many students legitimately care.
Now that plastic water bottles aren’t sold on campus anymore, the union has decided that the quality and choice of food are the next obstacles in the way of educational utopia.
The RSU cares so much about the issue, in fact, that it’s came up with a hashtag to shoehorn into their social media communications – the frankly incredible ‘wtfryefood.’ Among updates from RSU execs are the occasional tweets from students, tagged with photos of uninspired pizza slices, fruit and sandwiches.
Other students, meanwhile, describe the food as “disgusting,” with mention of food so unappetizing it had to be thrown away.
While all this Twitter action has been going on, the RSU has been handling a survey on food. Touched on in a story in this week’s news section, the survey results show that of the students questioned, over half say campus food is unaffordable and of low quality.
Let’s be honest – this isn’t groundbreaking data. Of past campuses I’ve been to the situation has been the same – standard food at inflated prices. And a basic online search throws up results regarding debates into food quality at Mc Gill, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Pune in India and Pittsburgh’s Point Park University.
Unfortunate though the situation is, poor food options are typical in large institutions – this can be seen in hospitals and airports as well as post-secondary institutions. It’s as soon as the customer is locked into a market (i.e. in an airport) that they effectively have to pay whatever the price is, as there is no other option.
But Ryerson isn’t a locked-in market. Stand on the corner on Gould and Bond, a central point on campus: It will take you the same amount of time to walk to two different Subway locations, for instance, than it would to walk to either the Hub or Pitman café.
Yes, the meal plan (which is a whole other story) is a scam, and yes, there should be a real alternative to Aramark, which is an inconvenience.
Though then again there should be a real alternative to the RSU, which is also an inconvenience, but there isn’t.
If you don’t like the food on campus, make your own. Simple as that.