You may have noticed the coverage in The Press about construction workers use of campus cafes, and some of the conclusions those who have read the article online have drawn.
The reality is that there is no ban. UC contracts with construction companies contain a provision that contractors will comply with UC policies and directives. Construction workers do get served at campus cafes, but on occasions have been moved on at busy times to give students priority. UC does not operate food outlets on campus. The UCSA and a small number of independent operators compete for customers.
UC makes no apology for putting its students first. The issue is not that UC does not wish construction workers to be served at campus cafes, but that it is not able to cater for the large numbers of workers without some measures in place, particularly at main break times which coincide with lecture breaks.
Those measures include the provision of additional facilities. The Hard Hat Café was established by the UCSA to provide extra, accessible service for construction workers on campus. Each construction site also has the ability to host a pie cart and facilities for construction workers to sit while eating. At times there have been up to 800 construction workers on campus. There will be more when the demolition of the Von Haast building and the construction of the new UCSA building begins.
In taking the approach it has, the University is mindful of previous complaints, including construction workers congregating in student communal areas, leaving students, staff and visitors nowhere to sit, and construction workers congregating outside teaching areas.
Dr Rod Carr
Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae