By Hope Riley, Living Editor
The Source’s monopoly of communal areas on campus means that it can charge students extortionate prices, perpetuating the University’s reputation of inaccessibility.
The University’s trademark chain of Source cafés is frequented by hordes of hungry students on a daily basis. Not because the Source offers quality, reasonably-priced food and drink options; but because due to the chain's occupation of university hotspots, there is often nowhere else to go.
With notable locations on the ground floor of the ASS, in Beacon House study space and on the popular Stoke Bishop accommodation campus, these cafés are frequently so busy that there are queues around the block, generating an overwhelming amount of business for the staff on shift.
On the UoB website, the University boasts that Source cafés ‘provide an important social role, providing places to meet, share ideas and gather one’s thoughts.’ Instead, it seems that the Source has monopolised Bristol’s study spaces, banning students from eating their own packed lunches in communal areas, and committing daylight robbery in the form of charging £1.80 for a blueberry muffin.
Whilst I applaud the University for paying Source employees a living wage, and for the company’s commitment to sourcing Fairtrade ingredients as well as carrying out sustainable food waste procedures, I fail to see how these policies mean that the products on sale have to be priced quite so extortionately.
Their social and ethical conscience seems not to have extended to consider the needs of the everyday student. If the University is truly serious about widening accessibility and ensuring that people from all backgrounds are able to study and live in Bristol, then charging less than £3.65 for a panini in Beacon House would be a good place to start.
Featured image: Instagram / @alexsheppard11
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