By Emily Senger
Craving a double-double and a Snack Pack of Timbits? No need to leave campus, Tim Hortons’ sugary caffeine-infused goods are just one of the changes coming to campus in the near future under the management of Chartwells.
Chartwells officially assumed control of University of Calgary Food Services as of Fri., Apr. 29. The Students’ Union and university administration are working with Chartwells representatives to make certain all changes to Food Services, including a new Tim Hortons in MacEwan Student Centre, meet the needs of students and vendors.
“[Chartwells] wants to put in a Tim Hortons,” said Students’ Union President Bryan West. “It would be a gold mine, but there are also logistical problems.”
West explained a new Tim Hortons in the location now occupied by Smash Hit Subs and Love Me Tenders would create increased traffic, and would require more cleaning services and seating. The SU also wants to ensure the needs of other vendors are taken into account.
Despite a boycott of Chartwells by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, West is optimistic privatization will create a positive change for students.
“[Privatization] was in the best interest of students,” said West. “It’s unfortunate for the long-term employees, but we don’t think the Chartwells deal was a bad thing–and that remains to be seen.”
Both university administration and Chartwells representatives are reluctant to release information until the plan for redevelopment is finalized later this month. But, university administration admits there will be noticeable changes to venues across campus, from MacEwan Hall to the Dining Centre.
“There will be improvements to the Dining Centre,” said Gayle Gorrill, Associate Vice-President Administration for the Executive Office. “There will be more ethnic foods, vegetarian options, and more foods prepared fresh to order.”
Chartwells will also renovate the Dining Centre. Gorrill said the majority of the renovations will take place over the summer to be completed for the fall semester.
Gorrill noted U of C students spend less per capita on on-campus food when compared to other major campuses across Canada. She says offering new options, like Tim Hortons, would meet a demand not already fulfilled on campus.
Gordon Barber, Regional VP Western Canada for Chartwells met with university administration on Mon., May 10 to present the initial plans for the takeover of Food Services, but would not comment on any changes until a final plan is made public later this month.