A new and enormously popular Facebook movement has emerged the past weekend: Occupy Albron. It’s already liked by more than 800 people, and the number continues to grow. Created by three German second-year IBA students, this page aims to unify students in order to improve the rather unsatisfactory Albron Catering on campus. EM talked to Bennet , Philipp and Moritz, about the major success and the future goals of their initiative.
Moritz: ‘It all started last week, when we discussed ethics in class. We used the university catering as an example, as we thought it was unmoral to rip off students in order to make profit.’
Last Friday in the library, Philipp came up with the idea of ‘Occupy Albron’.
However, some people misunderstand the meaning of ‘Occupy’. Moritz: ‘We don’t target the difference between rich and poor, we just want to improve the university catering.’
A plate of spaghetti
So what do these three IBA students want to achieve with their Facebook page?
Philipp explains: ‘We want to provide people with a platform, so we can bundle the power of students to change the catering service on campus.’
Bennet adds to this that they don’t ask for anything fancy, just a basic student meal for a decent price, like spaghetti Bolognese.
Moritz mentions that compared to other student cafeterias, Albron is very expensive: ‘The average price of a meal at EUR is about €6,-, I’d say. At the Utrecht University, you get a meal for only €2 to €3.’
Philipp: ‘The University should give students the opportunity to buy good food for a decent price. How do they expect us to study well if we don’t have proper food?’
Not just our idea, it’s everybody’s idea
All three are amazed by the support they have gained over the past few days.
Moritz says his flat mates mocked him when he told them they were aiming for about 800 supporters. However, the amount of Facebook likes has already exceeded this number, and the initiative is also backed by the EUR staff, who are spreading the idea among their colleagues.
Bennet: ‘From this you can see how important it is to people, it’s not just our idea, it’s everyone’s idea, and we’re just the ones who started the page.’
If you want to help these guys reach their goal, you can first of all like the Occupy Albron Facebook page. Secondly, they ask you not to buy Albron food if you’re not satisfied with the service they offer. Moritz: ‘The sports cafeteria is a pretty good alternative, if you want a proper warm meal.’ If you want to get actively involved in Occupy Albron, you can send an e-mail to [email protected].
So what does Albron do with this criticism? Michelle Belgrave from EFB, who is responsible for the Albron catering service, explains that they take this issue very seriously: ‘We just had a meeting with the organizers of Occupy Albron, and we are arranging a student panel to improve our service. We’ve taken action immediately in order to satisfy the students.’ IS