Students’ Union President Pat de Brún has set up a meeting with Kylemore representatives following student complaints of price increases in outlets across campus, despite a contractual one-year price freeze.
“I did a walkabout myself to each of the outlets that are open on campus this week and while some of them seem to have complied with the price freeze, I was concerned that some may have not” stated de Brún.
However, he is not definitive as to whether the price increases have indeed taken place; “I haven’t compiled any definitive information in terms of discrepancies with prices but having used these outlets myself for a number of years I felt certainly that some of them were more expensive than they used to be, which was a huge concern; specifically, I was in what is now the Java Arts Café and … I felt it had gone up”.
“Hopefully I am mistaken and the contract has been met but if the prices have gone up it is a contractual issue and it was part of the tender agreement. I don’t want to jump the gun and say that they’re blatantly in breach because I haven’t done up the final facts and figures yet and until then I don’t want to go condemning anyone”.
The SU met with Kylemore earlier in the year, “they wanted to meet with us to allay some of our concerns because we had been quite vocal in our condemnation of the tender process and our concerns about competition; it was a productive meeting, they certainly showed a willingness to engage with the student body, they made assurances that prices would not go up, they cited examples such as in UCC they have the tender and students seem quite happy there” explains de Brún.
De Brún is also meeting with Kylemore to discuss the group’s contribution to the Welfare Fund, “the figure has not been finalised, which is one of the reasons we want to meet … in fairness it was something that was brought up at the meeting which I wasn’t expecting to hear at the time but we haven’t met since so I would hope to hear more on that when we do”.
The reason behind the donation is unclear, “I think it’s part of their contract”, reasons Brún, “that they have to engage with students and help student life, it seems that they try to engender the company ethos of engagement with the different areas they’re working with”.
De Brún will also be making an inquiry as to why the café adjacent to the library, previously a 911 outlet, has yet to be opened.