Bar Ilan students to boycott campus cafeterias to protest overpriced coffee and food

Research conducted by the Student Union shows that the Bar Ilan prices are higher than in other higher education institutions in Israel.

November 7, 2013 21:30
2 minute read.
Students relax at Bar-Ilan University.

Bar-Ilan 370. (photo credit: BIU)

The Student Union at Bar- Ilan University announced that it will begin a boycott of the coffee shops and cafeterias on campus next week in protest of the high prices of coffee and food.

The boycott will continue until the prices are lowered and in the meantime, free coffee, sandwiches and pastries will be distributed on the campus in Ramat Gan, the Union said.

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The students said prices of food and drinks sold on campus have remained the same as they were last year, despite the fact that a survey conducted by the university showed their dissatisfaction on the subject.

In addition, a survey conducted by the Union showed that the prices are higher than at other higher education institutions in Israel.

According to the findings, while an espresso costs NIS 7 at BIU, it is NIS 5.60 at Tel Aviv University and NIS 3 at the University of Haifa.

Furthermore, a small Coca- Cola bottle at BIU is priced at NIS 8 and costs NIS 5.80 at TAU.

“It is unacceptable that I find myself giving up on buying lunch at the university over and over again,” a BIU student wrote on the Facebook event page for the boycott. “At Tel Aviv University they have about 15 cafeterias that sell meat and dairy at subsidized prices and we only have two dairy and one meat cafeteria and pay exorbitant prices.

“And we are the university with the most students in the country!” he added. “This really cannot be.”

Next week’s protest, the Union stated, is also directed at the university for not regulating prices for the benefit of the students.

In response to this initiative, the university released an official statement saying that “at Bar-Ilan, coffee can be purchased for NIS 6 and even for NIS 5, and coffee and a pastry can be bought for NIS 10.”

According to the statement, “discounted coffee can be purchased at one of the six coffee carts stationed on campus and while the cafeterias’ prices are higher, they remain the same and in some cases cheaper than the usual prices at other universities.

“The Bar-Ilan University administration has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the Student Union with reference to its complaints regarding coffee prices,” it continued. “As part of this dialogue, the university has offered students the opportunity to open a coffee shop with cheaper prices in their own headquarters. The Student Union, acting on its behalf, has until now rejected this proposal.”

The Union claimed that “so far, no clear offer from the university to establish a discounted coffee place was made,” and that such an establishment would not solve the problem anyway.

According to Matan Bar-Noy, chairman of the BIU Student Union, the owner of one of the cafes on campus has informed the Union that he is not able to lower costs because of the “disproportionate” rent charged by the university.

“It seems that at Bar-Ilan, ‘free market’ is a vulgar expression,” Bar-Noy said.

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