By staff reporters
Pic: Kirsty Hall
There have recently been murmurs of protest within the student body with regards to the recently down-sized breakfast menu in residence dining halls.
A big factor has been the removal of the cooked food option from menus on all days except Sundays. Originally, cooked foods were taken off the breakfast menu entirely, to be replaced with continental-style breakfast platters, but a compromise has recently been made to allow for the serving of hot foods, such as eggs and cooked tomato, every second day. On the days when cooked breakfasts aren’t served, yoghurt portions have been added to the breakfast menu instead.
Additionally, new rules have been set in place with regards to portion sizes and many feel as though they are being short-changed by the University.
There have also been varying degrees of verbal protest surrounding the new serving policy in dining halls. At breakfast times, for example, students may no longer dish up their own cereal and are helped to a carefully measured out single-cup serving by the dining hall staff.
Second year student, Gabriela Falanga commented on this change, saying, “If they aren’t going to give us cooked breakfasts anymore then they should at least let us take as much cereal as we need to fill us up.”
Students have expressed views ranging from simple dissatisfaction with the new adjustments to down-right outrage. Subwarden for Phelps House, Rosanne Desouza feels the recent changes are doing students a disservice. “The servings are too little. There’s been a total cut-down and for people with dawnies and sports in the mornings it’s not enough,” said Desouza. Residences of Hobson Hall have made the observation that their dining hall complaints book has been packed with dissatisfied comments on an almost daily basis.
Others feel like the changes might be reasonable in the long run. First year student Shaun Douglas commented, “It’s cost-effective. The fruit, cereal and bread should be enough, I think, for most people.”
The University’s Residential Operations Division, in liaison with the various residences on campus, has informed students that the changes in the menu are, in fact, beneficial for them in the long run. If the University had continued serving large cooked breakfasts everyday, Rhodents would have had an 18% residence fee hike from last year’s fees.
The average cost of a continental breakfast (i.e. Monday to Saturday’s menu) is R5,41, whereas Sunday’s cooked meals cost R7,40 and R8,57 for Default and Vegetarian menu options respectively. The cutting down of the menu was a last resort that ultimately reduced the residence fee hike to 12%.
The decision to instate these changes was discussed at length and finally agreed upon unanimously by a specially appointed Residence Budget sub-committee, composed of both staff and students, and will thus be difficult to overturn at this stage.