So the Marketplace is half its size… if only it were half the price. Maybe we can dare to dream of a cheaper alternative, with good food at affordable prices.
Sadly, the rumours are true, how disappointing. Our clamours for a food outlet that won’t break both our bank balances and our New Year’s resolutions, have been shattered. There will indeed be a Pret A Manger coming to campus, I am sure that the avocados, granary bread and prosciutto will more than cater to the needs of the Exeter student. The issue, nevertheless, is that this is essentially another expensive option on campus, meaning we have more of the same thing as opposed to being offered an alternative. Pret is renowned for being expensive, albeit good quality, and I just don’t know if it’s feasible to expect students to buy a sandwich for the best part of a ﬁve pound note. The campus is not meant to be a high street food court, why do we need these big name brands?
Speculation had also indicated the new outlet may have been be a Subway, but it wouldn’t have helped matters if we were forced to choose between our bank balance and our blood pressure. We already have some great pub grub at The Ram for those ditching the diet for the day, why would we want to add another unhealthy option to the list of temptations?
Some people disagree entirely, after all nobody’s forcing us to buy lunch on campus, and clearly students have been willing to cough up thus far. Needless to say however, we are students and sometimes we forget to make a sandwich or frankly can’t be bothered, and would like to be able to treat ourselves. Honestly, if I had known how expensive Exeter was before coming here it may have inﬂuenced my decision on whether or not to apply. There is a culture of overspending that sends a message out to less fortunate students that says the University does not care for their wants and needs.
A Tesco Express would have been a far more appropriate choice for a student audience, with a large range of both healthy and less healthy options available to cater for all tastes and budgets. Even a coffee shop that offers a decent cup of coffee at a reasonable price would be warmly welcomed. When I took my parents for a coffee on campus they were shocked to see such expensive brands for students, remarking “I hope you don’t come here too often”. While I know all too well that I’ll use them far more than I let on, that’s because essentially there’s not much choice, and I’m getting fed up of it.