Adjust Unspent Catering Credit for Catered Students at the University of Bath (2015-16)

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Unspent Catering Credit – 2015 - 2016

We wish to submit the following petition on behalf of resident students at the University of Bath who are in catered/ semi catered accommodation. A poll from Brendon Court alone shows that 91% of the respondents have between GBP 300 - 800 remaining as credit in their Eat and Drink Card (EDC), as of 26/04/16. At Bath, four buildings are facilitated with university catering options (Brendon Court, Polden Court, parts of Woodland Court and The Quads). Of these, Brendon and Polden are fully catered accommodations. As per the contract, fully catered residents receive GBP 55 per week worth of catering credit on their EDC for 33 weeks. This credit can be used at 7 eateries. The contract mentions that at the end of the year or 33 weeks any remaining credit will be lost.  We see this clause  as an unfair, unfeasible and an unethical condition. With a month left till the end of this academic year and catering credit worth hundreds of the pounds still left in students’ cards, this problem is all the more blatant.  We believe the clause is unfair on the following grounds:

1.       There have been lots of concerns regarding catering amidst students since the beginning of the year. These issues range from the poor quality of food served to the limited options available especially for international students who are not used to food and cooking styles available on campus. Though a large number of surveys are conducted at the University no consultation/ survey about food preferences have been conducted to seek our views.

2.       People with dietary requirements and religious minorities have very limited food options e.g. halal, vegetarian and vegan. For example, although halal meat options exist, only chicken is halal. Food on campus should be available for everyone hence those going for halal food should not only be given the option of chicken when they can eat halal beef, lamb, duck quite easily elsewhere. Similarly more options of salads and dairy free products should be available to cater to vegetarians and vegans.

3.       Many campus eateries now have reduced opening hours further reducing our options to use them e.g. fountain canteen closes at 2 pm instead of 4.30 pm and Limetree closes at 8 pm instead of 10 pm.

4.       Over the weekend half of the eateries are shut, with the rest open for limited time restricting our options even further.

5.       In general there are not as many healthy options as there could be, especially for dinner when only the Parade (burgers, steaks) and Limetree (pizza and pasta) are open.

6.       The university promised a wide range of good quality food to catered students who do not have cooking facilities and are obviously unable to cook themselves. Many students living in catered halls did not choose this option but had to go with it as nothing else was available.

7.       We were recently sent an email stating that we have to finish our catering credit by June 11th or it will be lost. This time limit is extremely unfair and unrealistic. The cash strapped students are at risk of losing hundreds of pounds worth of unused catering credit. The collective hundreds of pounds remaining in Eat and Drink Cards makes up a huge sum of money (an estimated total of GBP 51,200 from Brendon and Polden alone) and as complete students losing this is a substantial loss.

As students choosing University of Bath to be our home for the next few years we believe and trust that the university cares not only for our education but also for our welfare and has our best interests at heart. We believe and trust this institution to support and nurture our growth both in academic life as well as individuals.

Keeping the above in mind we have the following reasonable requests,

A.      Remaining credit on Eat and Drink Cards are adjusted against our accommodation fees and any surplus sum refunded in cash.

B.      We be allowed to use our remaining credit for a reasonable time during the next academic year so we have a chance to finish it off.

C.      A combination of the above two.

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