Have you ever eaten lunch in the school cafeteria at KU? What are your favorite menus among pork cutlets, ramen, and fried rice? It is a place to sell meals to students who have no big income and are burdened with food expenses outside of school. The menus change every day, so students can eat a variety of food at lunchtime. When students are short of money, they eat a lot of school meals at the school cafeteria. According to some students, the food is not especially delicious or not pretty good in quality, but I often used to go to the school cafeteria because the food was cheap. However, the school cafeteria which was attracting students' hearts at such a low price raised the price. I interviewed three KU students in order to listen to their ideas regarding the rise in the food prices of the school cafeteria.
Ma Ji-young from the Department of Nursing
“The price of the school meal that students used to enjoy without financial burden has increased. Originally, it was cheaper than the current price, which seems to relieve the students' burden on meal prices. In addition, its menu was diverse; therefore, students could enjoy both Korean and Western food as well as snack food such as Tteokbokki. The school cafeteria was always crowded with many students at lunchtime. During the exam period, I could eat school meals right away, so I could save time as well as money. However, it is hard for me to find any reason to eat school meals because the price was increased. When it comes to the price, I think there is no big difference from that of the convenience store. I think students will prefer eating at the convenience store to using the school cafeteria if the latter remains the current price. Therefore, I think that the previous price of school meals is more reasonable.”
Choi Hyo-jeong from the Department of English Education
“I understand that the price of school meals has increased due to the rise in due to overall inflation. The school cafeteria has been always crowded at lunchtime, so students had to wait in line for a long time to eat school meals. Despite such a long wait, the reason why students chose to eat school meals was that the previous price was cheaper than the current one. Most students are not financially well-off because they do not have jobs. Therefore, I think students should be able to enjoy meals at affordable prices without financial pressure. Nevertheless, if the price raised last September stays the same without any improvement in quality, I think students will visit the restaurants outside
Lee Min-kyeong from the Department of English Education
“It was inevitable for the school cafeteria to raise the price of the meal due to the high material and labor costs, which I believe will result in negative consequences. In particular, I don’t think many students will visit the school cafeteria due to the price rise of the meals. I chose school meals to save money when I was short of pocket money. How much the students are satisfied with the quality and quantity of the school meal is not the main standard. Students' standard is only a reasonable price. If the prices of school meals stay this way amid negative perceptions without reflecting students’ demands, the school cafeteria will also suffer difficulty from the drastic reduction of the number of students who visit it. I think, as an alternative, students are to visit outside restaurants which they think are more efficient in terms of prices and quality.”
Many students have visited the school cafeteria to eat lunch. The reason why students often used the school cafeteria is that it is that the price is cheap, which reduces their financial burden. Most people will know that students who use it cannot afford to eat high-priced meals. Although the price of the school cafeteria has been raised, a lot of students still use it because the price is similar to that of other restaurants. Therefore, the suggestion is that the school cafeteria should improve the quality of its food to meet the price increase.