"Our students deserve the very best"...but at what price?
According to Vice-Chancellor, Peter Gregson Queen's commitment to the welfare of its students who "deserve the very best" is clearly evident, of which the "magnificent refurbishment is a tangible symbol".
It seems a pity then that there was no refurbishment of the Mandela Hall, the Bunatee Bar or the Speakeasy, some of the parts of the Union which are most frequented by the students. As well as this the Beech Room and Snack Bar have remained dormant and untouched since the refurbishment began last year.
The newly elected executive have vowed to see that these areas are made use of - perhaps an idea may be a resonably priced area to eat. The current eateries (aside from the small selection of food available in the Bunatee Bar) are over-priced to say the least. Clements is attractive to the eye with its multi-coloured lights and modern lay-out but should students really be subjected to £1.50 for a regular cup of coffee - as one student interviewed pointed out that's hot water mixed with dry granules. Cloisters provides a wide range of food but at £2.35 for a coke and pizza SLICE students may find themselves heading across the road to the Parlour where they can enjoy a small pizza and wedges combo meal for £3.50.
Our Union should be student friendly. Those who are limited to one hour for lunch in a 9-5pm day of class should not have to walk to Stranmillis or Botanic to afford a meal. Unions across England pride themselves on cheap food and drink offers while here a hot dog alone will set the average student back £2.50.
The Queen's commitment to welfare clearly doesn't extend to favouring student needs over privatisation.