Head to head: Travel Cuts edition
Violetta Nikolskaya, Matt Martorana, Wendy Chi & Amanda Mihoub Wright
Matt: We from Mac Debate would like to welcome you to the New Year, full of new beginnings, resolutions and hopefully new business for the McMaster Students Union. Travel Cuts, which was in MUSC between Union Market and the pharmacy, has left. It’s exciting to think of all the possibilities that lie before us. My favourite one has to be the suggestion for a new restaurant chain. Yes, perhaps this is the most obvious and lacklustre proposal, but I think it carries with it a few benefits that other suggestions do not. First of all, I do not think it would hurt to increase the diversity of the food services on campus, maybe by having a Mexican food restaurant or a Vietnamese place or a place that sells falafels – just something that we cannot ordinarily get on campus. If we can’t get diversity, though, then at least having another pizza parlour or burger joint could provide competition to drive down some of the prices at Bistro or La Piazza.
Violetta: One of the most important facets of the campus to emerge recently was the McMaster Farmstand. The farm stand gave students the opportunity to eat locally and support the partnership with McMaster’s sustainability and hospitality services. Around campus, it is hard to find a wide selection of fresh fruits; looking at a sometimes unappetizing basket of oranges and apples in La Piazza should be enough to prove that. It is also hard to find some more simple treats like spreads and jams produced locally without making the trek to the downtown market. However, the farm stand is only available a couple times a week and may sometimes be hard to access, as it is located outside, when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Having the Farmstand located inside, with the possibility of opening for a few more days out of the week, providing a more accessible, convenient and healthy alternative would be a great thing for McMaster. Apart from improving our environment, local economy and health, there are a variety of reasons why the Farmstand has been a wonderful part of campus. Why not upgrade the location and help spread the word (and jam)?
Wendy: It’s likely that you’ve heard about the overcrowding problem at McMaster caused by too many prospective students accepting their admission offers for 2011. If not, maybe you’ve caught wind of how upper years planning to stay in residence this year were offered financial incentives to find off-campus housing in order to make room for an unusually large influx of first years. Or, if you didn’t know about either of these issues, maybe you’ve simply noticed (and been aggravated by) how hard it can be to get a seat in the student centre to eat a quick lunch or do some work between classes. The fact is that there are more students at McMaster than there were before and as a result free sitting space is hard to come by during the high-volume midday hours. MUSC is the hub of the entire McMaster campus, but people can’t take full advantage of its various food services and central location if they have to scour the floor in search of a clean table and a seat. That’s why converting the Travel Cuts location into an additional area with tables and chairs, complete with power outlets for students to eat, work, or just sit and relax, is the best way to use it. There may not be any of the novelty that comes with a new vendor or service, but it is something that could be used by all students, at all times and at no cost, both to those occupying it and the university.
Amanda: The area previously occupied by Travel Cuts in the student centre should host a beauty salon because it is a service that truly serves the needs of the McMaster community. A beauty salon in the student centre would cater to students by charging affordable budget-friendly prices and offering basic salon treatments. The beauty services offered, such as haircuts, manicures, pedicures and fake nails, among others, would allow students to conveniently take care of their aesthetic needs. The beauty salon’s location would make it easy for students to access the services that it offers. Students could stop by the salon on their breaks and get their haircut quickly. Many students put off beauty treatments such as basic haircuts while they are at school due to their busy schedules and the inconvenience of having to find a barber shop/beauty salon in a city that they are unfamiliar with. The salon would also cater to students taking their graduation photos, as they could more easily get their hair and makeup done before their session at the photography studio in the student centre. A beauty salon would serve a wide range of students at McMaster by offering treatments ranging from basic (such as haircuts) to more complex ones (such as waxing).