Residents of Corrib Village have criticised a scheme by Campus Living to provide meals to self-isolating students.
The NUI Galway accommodation complex initially announced it would be offering an optional two-week meal plan to students required to isolate in line with HSE guidelines
The initial four-course plan provided by campus caterer Masterchefs amounted to €24 a day.
Students criticised the cost of the plan branding it as extortionate, one claiming that it took advantage of students:
“I think that it’s taking advantage of students that are already in a very frightening and worrying situation. They knew that situations like this would arise and chose to extort students instead of helping them through it.”
Campus Living, who run the University’s two on-campus facilities Corrib and Goldcrest Village said that they were continuing in their efforts to support students
In a statement Campus living said that they would continue in their efforts to support students, telling SIN;
“We are supporting our students providing welfare telephone checks and other measures. We were dealing with mainly international students who hadn’t already shopped. A dinner only option may be more affordable for students.”
They also revealed that they were providing students with information on alternative options for students should they need to isolate, including a delivery service from the NUI Galway pharmacy for emergency situations
The price of the plan has since been lowered to €17.50 per day over a 10-day period, with a dinner only option for €8 which students have argued is still too high.
Students welcomed the revised meal plan but claimed that it should still be lowered further.
“‘I’m glad to hear that they’ve reduced it, although €245 is still very high for two weeks of food for a student. Maybe €15 would be a bit more reasonable at about a fiver a meal.”
Speaking to SIN, NUI Galway Student’s Union’s Welfare and Equality officer Róisín Nic Lochlainn condemned the meal plan and accused the accommodation providers of taking advantage of students.
“I think it’s disgraceful how far removed from reality do the University and the accommodation providers need to be to think that any student can afford that let alone during a pandemic.
“When you think about it and you put it into context the €250 that has been awarded to every student from the government is less than what Corrib Village were originally charging for quarantine food for some of our most vulnerable students. This is what you call taking advantage of vulnerable students during a pandemic at its finest.
“We condemn it and we think that it should be as cheap as possible and the other cheaper alternatives should be advertised to students first and foremost.”