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Statement on Mediteknia’s Personnel Restaurant Experiment

The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY)

Statement on Mediteknia’s Personnel Restaurant Experiment

The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland (ISYY) would like to express its concerns over the adverse effects Mediteknia’s personnel restaurant experiment has had on the wellbeing of students.

As a result of the experiment, the queues at Canthia’s subsidised student restaurant have become unbearably long. During lunchtime, students have to stand in a queue for 20 minutes on average. At worst, students have had to stand in a queue for up to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, the Mediteknia restaurant stands nearly empty.

The personnel restaurant experiment was implemented on the basis of a statement issued by occupational health care, which argued that smooth workplace dining arrangements prevent stress, weight gain and other lifestyle issues. Smooth workplace dining arrangements would also help to achieve increased work efficiency and prevent health problems.

The Student Union (ISYY) would like to point out that smooth dining arrangements are also beneficial in preventing students’ stress and health problems during their five years of study. Forcing young people to adapt to an irregular eating schedule does not prevent stress or health problems. Not to mention, students’ stress levels are at a high level as is, even without the addition of irregular eating schedules. The utterly congested state of the university counselling services and student health services (YTHS) reflect this notion.

The meal subsidy benefits are a part of the financial aid for students. The current capacityof student restaurants is insufficient to allow all students to benefit from the subsidy. A large portion of students on Canthia are unable to flexibly arrange their lunch times due to obligatory studies or patient related duties. This has resulted in students either eating nothing at all during the day or bringing their own lunch.

The safety of patients should also be taken into consideration, as the likelihood of making a mistake with patients is increased if Canthia’s students have to perform nursing duties when they are hungry.

Since the number of students admitted to Canthia has increased, these student restaurants are bound to become increasingly congested. What is more, all of Canthia’s full-time students, namely the third-year pharmacy students, are not currently on campus; meaning the situation will become even more difficult come next autumn, when all students will be present.

The Student Union (ISYY) fully understands the staff members’ need to have lunch at the workplace. However, we would like to emphasise that the current experiment presents an unwelcome development, as one of the restaurants stands nearly empty while the other two on Canthia and Mediteknia are unable to serve the abundance of customers at an acceptable pace.

The Student Union (ISYY) proposed on 27 November 2015 that there should be a lunch line specifically for personnel at the Mediteknia’s and Canthia’s restaurants. The Student Union (ISYY) continues to support developing the dining services in line with this proposal and is prepared to come up with ideas concerning its implementation.

Olli Siirola
Chairperson of the Student Union
tel. +358 44 576 8406