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At long last, the rumours of a Subway coming to campus are no longer just that, rumours – as builders have been working hard over the Easter break to provide all of us lucky students with an outlet for Fresh Eating, smack bang in the heart of Bowland. As some of you may have seen online, our beloved Ronnie Rowlands’ recently discussed the controversy surrounding the new Subway, slamming the location of the store as a ‘nuisance’ to the students who live around it and the businesses, such as Bowland Bar, which will inevitably suffer from the introduction of the franchise.
Rowlands’ mentioned that a sign had been tacked up in Bowland College on the 28th March, telling students that if they had any objections to the opening hours they should contact the council by 28th April – and as Ronnie quite rightly said, this was rather a sneaky move. It seems as if the people proposing these hours were expecting objections, and thus decided the easiest way around complaints would be to put up notices with information on how to complain when the majority of students had returned to the comfort of their homes. Underhand, one might say. However, since term officially started again on the 22nd and many of us wise students decide to come back a few days early and get a jumpstart on our mountains of university work (drinking), I’d say six days is still sufficient time to write strongly-worded letters of complaint and first class them to the council. If anything, letters of complaint flooding in all at once might be more effective and forceful than the odd letter here and there.
Although I’ll admit that these extensive hours seem unnecessary, they are no different from the likes of Sultans, which is open till extremely late at least a couple of nights a week (if my memories of stumbling in for curly fries at 5am as a fresher serve me rightly). Further to this, longer opening hours are likely to create more jobs for students on and off campus, because let’s be honest, jobs are few and far between as it is and us students are known to do almost anything if the pay’s good. Whilst I agree that the opening hours may be a nuisance to the students who live above and around Subway in Bowland, it has to be said that a Subway store is hardly the most raucous of places. It seems unlikely that residents will have to deal with loud noises all day and night, unless you have a customer who gets overly enthusiastic about what kind of cheese he wants on his toasted Italian bread. There are many businesses on campus situated near accommodation, and I’m yet to hear of people complaining about morning deliveries to Bowland bar or the smell of delicious Lancashire pies. As for residents being disturbed and displeased about “cooking smells” coming from Subway – it’s a sandwich shop. There aren’t really many things needing to be cooked so I doubt this will be much of an issue; unless the smell of fresh-baked bread or sizzling bacon deeply offends you.
Facebook polls are valuable in spreading messages far and wide over the world of the internet – believe it or not, there’s more to it than cats – making it easier for people to share their opinions without having to answer reams of pointless questions (e.g. What college are you in? What year of study are you in? What colour socks are you wearing?). It is true that a Facebook poll, whilst showing what the majority of students think, is not appropriate for this situation. Bowland College should instead be asking the residents most likely to be affected by the new Subway. And whilst it is true that “one-click thinking” is not always appropriate, we’re discussing a sandwich place here, not whether we should launch a missile at Korea.
Overall, I would venture to say that the introduction of Subway to campus is a good thing, although perhaps not for our wallets. Subway have a reputation for providing (reasonably) healthy and freshly made sandwiches, something which campus is now lacking since the closure of Diggles at the beginning of Lent term. Now if we could just deal with the issue of where students are actually expected to sit down and eat their lunch other than Alexandra Square in the pouring rain, Lancaster University would truly be a magical place.