The Concordia Student Union is looking into creating more food opportunities at the Loyola Campus, but is facing resistance with Concordia administration.
Celeste-Melize Ferrus, CSU Loyola coordinator, wants to collaborate with student groups like the Concordia Food Coalition, an organization that focuses on sustainable food on campus, to use unused spaces on campus to give students more of a variety of food at the Loyola campus.
Ferrus explains that the decision to create more food on campus is not up to the CSU, but to Concordia administration and the Dean, who are open to ideas if they see a demand for it.
Arguably, the need is there. Ferrus argues that there is nothing to eat at the Loyola Campus. But, she said that if Concordia does not see a need for more food at Loyola, the only thing CSU would be able to do is a petition.
“I need more variety,” she said. “I wouldn’t eat Tim Hortons. Eating that every semester for your whole undergrad is really frustrating.”
Other students also feel that Loyola does not have adequate food on campus.
“I feel like it’s lacking in food in a way that doesn’t make me want to stay on campus for very long,” said Avery Jane, a Concordia student who is lactose intolerant and celiac. “It’s a real bummer, having to go all the way out there and then not being able to stay for very long unless I’ve planned in advance and brought my own food.”
The Hive Café, a student-run cooperative that provides healthy and affordable food on campus, does have a location at Loyola and offers gluten-free and vegan options.
Yet, Antonia Neatby, an employee at the Hive, admits this is not enough.
“We are the only place that has gluten-free options, and I think the only place that has vegan options,” Neatby said. “But we don’t have that many options, and we can’t guarantee [zero] cross-contamination.”
Neatby said she has heard students saying that they want more variety in food at the Loyola Campus.
“There is definitely a real desire in the student body to have student-owned and student lead food cooperatives that don’t contribute to things like Aramark,” she said.
Aramark is an American food service provider that has been in a five-year contract with Concordia to provide food services. Its contract is supposed to finish in 2020 with a chance of a two-year renewal.
In a 2015 online statement, Concordia said that Aramark would focus on creating new cafes and restaurants on campus, promising more variety for students.
The statement also mentions how Aramark has created a Tim Hortons and a European-style Market in the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex at Loyola, which offers a variety of foods for students.
“The locations will also feature ‘Get the Good Stuff,’ Aramark’s daily prepared healthy-balanced meals and snacks for students on the go,” read the statement.
Ferrus said that these promises from Aramark never panned out, that all the variety Tim Hortons has to offer is bagels and cream cheese, and the rest of the options are very expensive and slim.
Elias Huckel-Fidalgo, another member of the CSU council, confirmed that the CSU committee is not actively looking into creating more food at the Loyola campus at the moment. Huckel-Fidalgo said that Ferrus is the only CSU member advocating for more food on campus.
Feature graphic by Victoria Blair