I think the Library coffee machines should be boycotted

Rage against the machine

campus coffee coffee shops corporation independent

We all like to have a bit of choice. But the choices for coffee on campus are shrinking and reveal a disturbing trend.

Picture this – you stride into the Sydney Jones, about to start a reading marathon for tomorrow’s seminar. It’s going to be a long one. You need some fuel, and of course want a coffee. So what’s the option? Starbucks or… Starbucks.

The position of Starbucks within the university is disturbing and, to be honest, down right rude.

Charging us £2.20 for a coffee (£2.50 for a decent sized one) is just one step too far. Fair enough, the library cafe (also run by Starbucks) serves cheaper coffee, but this shuts at 4.  Not great if you’re planning on powering through all that reading. Anybody knows that if you are in the SJ for 8 hours a day, at least three cups of coffee go down a treat, and who has £6.60 spare just to quench your thirst as you frugally read over seminar notes?

What happened to local cafes? What happened to local run businesses?

I’m honestly terrified for when Tesco Express takes over the Central Teaching Hub. Their color scheme is terrible and the every little they give, certainly does not help. The university is a beacon of support and a hub of activity. We could offer a platform for a locally run cafe, or even a student-run cafe. Why do we sell out to chains, brands and business that don’t respect and value us back?

And what about being different, standing out, gripping tightly onto the unique identity of our campus? Every small town from Lands End to John O’Groats has a Starbucks or a Costa, our uni doesn’t need to resemble middle England. A student run cafe would be great, as it can revolve around and cater for students. A locally owned business would also work in our interests, being more tailored to the local area. It would also be more economically beneficial to Liverpool, as the money earned by a local cafe is more likely to be reinvested back into the local economy.

Yet we can’t just sit around and moan, like we do about everything else.

It may seem petty issue to protest over, but a boycott of the current, library coffee machine, asking for the return of the old one, or simply a cheaper one, would go far. Combined with a complaint or petition, a boycott would provide make it non-profitable and therefore removeable, demonstrating popular demand for cheaper coffee to be available within the library.

It would also prove we do care about our campus and we are willing to take responsibility for what activities take place on it.

It would show that we see our uni as an institution which we are part of and can influence, rather than one we simply passing through. Utopian dreams aside, £2.50 is a filthy, fuck off rip-off for coffee being sold to students.

The coffee machine is another example of the University selling out with no regard for its students. It needs to be the last example.