It’s important not to underestimate the importance of pizza in the life of an undergrad. Whether it’s just a normal lunch, or fuel for a midnight study session, or the only way to get people to come out to your event (search Twitter for “free pizza UVic” and you’ll see what I mean), you could argue that pizza is the most important food for many a university student.
This may be why they’re having such a negative reaction to price increases at Mystic Market that have seen the cost of a single slice of pizza go from $2.99 to $4.95 — a 65 per cent increase.
The price hike comes along with UVic Food Services’ decision to replace pizza with calzones at Cap’s Bistro, a popular late-night spot for students living in residence, meaning pizza is the topic on many student’s minds — but not necessarily on their tongues.
Reactions to the changes were most severe on the UVic subreddit, with various users calling the changes both stupid and shocking in two separate threads posted on Sept. 11 and 20.
David Purcell, the director of Food Services at UVic, explained both in the Sept. 11 thread and in an email to the Martlet that the increases were routine and due to the rising cost of raw materials. Purcell also pointed out that the slices are now 30 per cent bigger in an effort to offset the higher cost.
“Our culinary teams work diligently to shop for the best prices from our vendors for products,” Purcell told the Martlet. “But we can only do so much as we are committed to a rather strict level of quality for our raw materials.” On Reddit, Purcell said that Food Services had to choose between raising the price — “which we don’t like to do” — or decreasing the quality of the product — “which we refuse to do.”
But for many students, the quality simply isn’t good enough to warrant paying almost double the price.
Reddit user unfathomableuniverse called the change “disappointing.”
“I don’t know if it’s me . . . but paying $8.50 for two slices of pizza that aren’t even that great in quality makes no sense,” they wrote. “I feel like the price of pizza . . . is just stupid and the school’s getting ripped off by whoever [sic] they’re importing from.”
Purcell was unavailable to explain the removal of pizza from Cap’s at press time.
This issue is still ongoing, but it appears as though Food Services is happy to stick with their decision to raise prices. It may leave a bad taste in their mouths, but UVic students have no choice but to stomach these changes for now.