The faculty party Stout led a protest on the Science Park campus against the price of canteen meals. They distributed free carrot soup to students as they sought support for their petition against a further increase in prices. ‘This carrot and coconut soup costs €0.30 a bowl,’ says Willemijn Bulterman of Stout. ‘In the canteen, you can buy it for €1.50.’
The canteen operates like a foodtruck, says Eli de Smet (27, artificial intelligence) of Stout. ‘Cormet hires local entrepeneurs which the students pay for their food. Part of this profit then goes back to Cormet… You basically have to pay twice for a meal!’ Doesn’t the UvA place any restrictions? ‘The UvA specifies that there must be a cheap one-pot meal,’ says Eli. ‘But Cormet seems to be able to meet this requirement by offering microwave meals. These, incidentaly, are hidden on the bottom of the shelf.’
Fokel Ellen (22, maths): ‘There are meals with sweet potato and quinoa’, he poits to a shelf with vegan banana bread and couscous salads from Strong Foods where prices range from €3.75 to €5.00, ‘but all the “budget” meals are microwave meals. They must be able to provide something affordable that is also healthy.’
Central parties like UvA Sociaal, Red UvA and De Vrije Student will spread the word via posters, representatives tell Folia. ‘And we will get help from student union ASVA which will distribute flyers at all study associations of both UvA and HvA.’
A thousand signatures
After an hour of distributing carrot soup, the five members of Stout had collected one hundred signatures. They will continue until Wednesday but students have until 21 May to sign the petition which concerns both UvA and HvA canteens. It will then offered to the UvA Board. ‘We want at least more than a thousand signatures.’
You can sign the petition here.