Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.
Have you ever waited in the queue to get a meal in the Caf. at night? Have you cursed because it took you as lone to wait as it did to eat? And have you been wondering why the price of the evening meal has risen from 1/9 to 2/-? So have we.
Probably more solid grousing has gone into the Caf. situation than anything else around V.U.C. except exams. But while there is a fair amount of grousing, there hasn't been much constructive comment from anyone. Kath Langford, Stud. Ass. Caf. Controller, is pretty convinced that there isn't much that can be done about either the queues or the prices. The problem, she thinks is not quite the ordinary one: few ordinary restaurants have such a concentrated rush as our rush around six o'clock—only that in the "Duke" could equal it.
The price of the evening meal has just risen. Last year's figures for the operation of the Caf. shows a rather sizeable loss—about £170. in fact. The main reasons given for this are first, the changes in staff over the last year which have meant that efficiency dropped, and second, the terrific rise in the cost of wages over the last few years. Though the other costs—with the exception of the prices of meat, haven't gone up much, the wage rates have. If we are to run it at all, we must expect to pay a fair salary for a competent manageress; the job isn't exactly a bed of roses. Moreover, the Caf. is closed for almost four months of the year, which means that, unless we get a new manageress every year, the salary must continue through that break. And of course there is a cook to be paid. Overheads are far greater in proportion on this 8 months period than they would be if they were spread over the whole year. However, the Controller is sure that the loss can be made up in the next year's operating.
Is there anything possible to shortent those queues? Kath Langford thinks not. The present lay-out means that there are no facilities for having plates already dished up and keeping them hot: so everyone has to wait while they are dished up separately. On this view, the queues will continue until that new building is up. The Caf has grown no bigger to keep pace with the size of the roll. And about 200 meals are served there every night, the greatest proportion being in that 6 o'clock rush.
1. We show here a ticket which was used until about 7 or 8 years ago in the Caf. If such a ticket were used again, say two different tickets of 5/- and 10/- (and this one had advertising on the back which would just about cover the cost of printing them) the result would be, first an assured turnover—and if there were some slight concession on these cards, maybe even an increase in turnover: second, that the time taken at present to give change would be cut. It might not be much, since the longest job is dishing out, but it should speed the queue along a little. It would be worth trying.
2. It should be possible for people who have only 10 minutes between lectures at four and five to by-pass the queue: they haven't a show of getting their meal as things are unless they don't have to stand in the line. We talked this one over with the Controller, and there is a distinct hope that this can be done.
3. Lists have been up around the college asking for support for an appeal for morning tea service. This is a worthy cause, hut there won't be enough staff to do it unless some of the people who put their names down will give a hand with the washing up and so on. Otherwise there isn't any reason why it shouldn't work-it used to.
4. The staff problem might he helped if students who could put in an hour or so a day were paid for their time. We understand that this is to be discussed at an Exec, meeting. There must be a few types around who would like to supplement their income by working even for a short time every day.
"It has been noted that other colleges serve Morning as well as Afternoon Tea in their respective Cafeterias. The question is raised whether Victoria students would have any interest in a similar scheme here.
The only way to find out is to ask each one of you. Therefore to save a lot of trouble asking you personally, would you please sign this sheet with your initials so that, if enough students are interested.. something can be done about it."
No Bout About it
The foregoing inconspicuous notice, hung in the college for only two days, was signed by over 60 students. No doubt the Exec, will sooner or later do something about this, no doubt, no doubt, but n little prompting from students will make it less later and more sooner, no doubt!!!!!!