Terrace prices under question by students

(Photo by Kate Turner)

For first-year students with meal plans, buying food on campus is as simple as swiping their OneCards. But for upper-year students at Wilfrid Laurier University, buying food on campus is a different story. They take notice of the dollar amount that pops up on the cash register and are voicing their displeasure with prices at food vendors in the Terrace.

According to many students, it is significantly more expensive to eat at the Terrace than at an off-campus location.

“It’s almost like we’re paying for the convenience of just having it here,” said Jessica Landouceur, a second-year geography student. “You could always go to the dining hall – oh. Oh wait.”

She feels that prices are noticeably higher at the Terrace and that the flat fee of around $12 to get into the Dining Hall isn’t worth it either.

“I went to Pita Shack and got a pita and a drink for $12,” explained second-year film studies student, Jane DaSilva. “And I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t even get meat with anything. It’s just so expensive.”

DaSilva has also noticed that this year there are less vegetarian options available to her.

“It sucks,” agreed Meghan House, a second-year political science and anthropology student, who is also a vegetarian. “You have to go off campus.”

DaSilva said she enjoyed eating at Union Market last year, but that this year it is overpriced.

“I hate Union Market,” said second-year film studies student, Kyle Taylor. “It’s like $10 and they give you a chicken strip.”

Eating off campus seems to be the only option for students who don’t want to pay high prices at the Terrace. Fourth-year students Hannah Doyle and Amanda Stone commented on how on campus food options have changed since they started at Laurier.

“This year I noticed it was really expensive,” said Stone.

Doyle agreed, commenting on the $9 quesadilla she bought for lunch that day.

“For the past three years if we wanted to grab a salad or something at lunch we would just walk through [the Dining Hall],” she added. “I eat on campus maybe once a month because it’s too frustrating.”

But the new system at the Dining Hall has impeded their ability to continue to do this in their fourth year. The Terrace, they noted, is difficult to get food at as it is crowded with first years.

Ryan Lloyd-Craig, director of food services at Laurier, declined to comment on the prices at the Terrace due to restrictions put in place by Aramark. However, he did forward The Cord a comment from

Karen Culter, Aramark’s director of communications, stating that the company provides competitive prices based off of local establishments.

Chris Hyde, interim general manager and director of policy, research and advocacy, said that the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union hadn’t been focussing on prices at the Terrace until The Cord drew their attention to it.

“WLUSU isn’t in charge of the Terrace anymore,” Hyde said. “But if there is a price increase then it’s something that we’ll have to look into.”

Aramark took control of the Terrace last year and has its own agreements with the businesses located there. Hyde said that this means places like the Union Market have a separate contract with Aramark that WLUSU isn’t privy to.

“One of the things we’ve stipulated to Aramark is that they respect some of the principals around our contract with them — and that’s that it has to be affordable [to eat] on campus,” he explained. “Just because you have a student cliental who likes to eat on campus, doesn’t mean you can raise the price.”

Hyde also said that WLUSU has always asked for vegetarian options to be present on campus.

He assured that WLUSU will be looking into these concerns regarding the Terrace.

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