Crisis on campus: demand for affordable meal deals
In the middle of the cost of living crisis, Charlie Oldroyd addresses campus’s lack of affordable meals for students.
It comes as no surprise that in a state of economic crisis, the cost of living in Britain is soaring to unprecedented heights. However, there seems to be little concern directed at the poorest students of Exeter as on-campus food becomes more inaccessible than ever.
In what some may interpret as a potentially tone-deaf statement from the Vice Chancellor, the University is encouraging struggling students to apply through complex routes to gain hardship funds and bursaries. However, the University is showing shockingly little empathy and effort to support low-income students through failure to implement immediate and accessible action.
A new movement for the ‘£2 hot meal deal’ coined by a student-run Instagram page demands that the University do better. As an institution in charge of education and wellbeing, the privatisation of basic necessities is wholly unacceptable – a stance that Exeter’s students are campaigning to change.
As an institution in charge of education and wellbeing, the privatisation of basic necessities is wholly unacceptable
The page going by the Instagram handle ‘2poundmealdeal_exeteruni’ is rallying support from a large number of well-known societies; namely, the BodySoc, Be the Change society and Exeter FemSoc.
Aiming for 500 signatures, the group intends to present the petition to the University and pressure them into creating a nutritious sustainable and most importantly, affordable meal deal.
Most students spend multiple days a week on campus and are confronted with a monopoly of expensive food chains such as MarketPlace, the Ram, even the Forum Kitchen all painted under different brands, yet owned by the university.
From the last academic year, prices for the same meal deal have risen £1.
Most students spend multiple days a week on campus and are confronted with a monopoly of expensive food chains
When interviewed one student branded the current £4.50 meal deal as “extortionate”.
She elaborated: “Especially for first-year students on campus, prices are insane in the marketplace. There aren’t many supermarkets close to Halls and what is made available by the University is expensive and inaccessible for students who struggle with money”.
Another student when asked if the University provides enough support for students amid the economic crisis simply said: “No, not at all.”
Until every student from every background can have their basic needs met the University of Exeter is fundamentally failing their pupillage. Moreover, we must pull together to ensure that our peers don’t have to choose between going hungry on campus or suffering economically. To sign the petition, follow the hyper link provided on the movements instagram handle.