Photo courtesy of Zahra Khozema/RU Student Life

By Chelsea Lecce

For a university that has a total enrolment of over 32,000 students, Ryerson is not doing a good job catering to all types of hungry stomachs.

From the Student Learning Centre (SLC) to Kerr Hall, Rogers Communications Centre (RCC), and even all the way down to the Ted Rogers School of Management, there will never be a campus Tim Hortons without a line.

Are we forgetting about our campus eateries? Nope. We know they exist, but they will never be our first choice.

Oakham House, Ryerson Eats (ILLC Dining Hall, Pitman Dining Hall, Hub Cafe) and the Ram in the Rye are just steps away from our lecture halls, yet students would often rather make the mission across Dundas to the Toronto Eaton Centre’s Urban Eatery to refuel.

The biggest problem with our campus dining options is the dent it leaves in our wallets. What makes the Ram Burger worth $5 more than an Original at McDonald’s?

As semesters switched over from fall to winter, so did the Ram in the Rye menu. Without any clear indication given, pints are up 25 cents and the sandwiches hiked 50 cents. As students who struggle to hold jobs, pay for necessities (such as commuting, tuition, textbooks and living), while also feeding ourselves so we can make it to class and hand in our assignments on time, we do not have extra quarters jiggling around in our pockets to spend freely.

We think that food should be an easily accessible resource for all, and our school should help keep our gears running, as opposed to making us contemplate whether we should skip lunch today. Campus food locations and the student-run Ram in the Rye could take a lesson from the newly opened Yonge Street Warehouse. At this restaurant, every menu item is $5, all day, every day.

Although the RU Eats menus have halal, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, their dishes are still not worth it unless it is part of your residence meal plan. Just within discussions at our masthead, the majority agree that the dishes are expensive, with there being smarter ways to invest our hard-earned money into food and snacks.

This is why groups like “Free Food Locator at Ryerson University” on Facebook exist, and are growing so quickly. Over 4,000 student-members are coming together to create a community based off the shared need for food to survive, while also not going broke to get it.

All across campus, students are posting photos to the group with locations where trays of sandwiches, boxes of pizza or snacks like coffee and donuts from seminars or finished events, can be picked up at no cost. Groups like this are thriving because we all understand how both important and expensive food tends to be.

Ryerson and the student-operated food services should be offering students discounted food options without the inconvenience of having to sit down and order, or walk so far from campus. With an upper-scale education should also come an upper-scale, healthy diet. Or so we wish… if only we had all the funds in the world to live lavishly.

For now, restaurants such as Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and Yonge Street Warehouse can take all of our money because they have got the affordable, convenient, quick, and yummy dishes down pat.

This is a joint byline. Ryersonian staff are responsible for the news website edited and produced by final-year undergraduate and graduate journalism students at Ryerson University. It features all the content from the weekly campus newspaper, The Ryersonian, and distributes news and online multimedia, including video newscasts from RyersonianTV. Ryersonian.ca also provides videos, images, and other interactive material in partnership with the School of Journalism.

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