Along with the new semester came the newly remodeled Ewha Campus Complex (ECC). But with more shops and restaurants, the ECC seems nothing like part of a university campus, at least not on the B4 floor. But the most shocking place of all is the food court.
The food court is operated by Our Home, which also manages the dormitory cafeteria at Ewha. When the Ewha Voice contacted the company in August, it described something similar to the student cafeteria, but with more food choices and run like the food courts in department stores. What it did not mention was prices, so it is understandable that, at the grand opening on September 1, students were surprised by an average cost per dish of 7,000 won. This is at least twice the price of a dish at the student cafeteria, and it makes the food court the most expensive student restaurant on campus. Moreover, there are cheaper restaurants offering the same dishes just one or two hundred meters away, outside of the front gate.
The Office of Financial Affairs said this April that, “Unlike Cathay Ho (a restaurant in the ECC mainly for professors), the food court will serve students’ needs.” However, that turns out to be a promise that was not kept. The Student Government Association has also expressed its discontent about the food court, and the controversy over pricing is spreading as many in-school shops have also raised their prices.
The question here is what is the point of having in-school shops and restaurants if they do not serve the students’ needs? When the school made the decision to accept commercial shops on campus, it should have made sensible and affordable prices as one of the requirements.
Various shops and high quality food can be a benefit for students, but only if students can afford to try them.