On March 27 and 28, the Economics Club handed out surveys asking four questions about the food served at Missouri Western. Katie McKnight, Nick Brewer and Tony Myers set up a table in Blum and encouraged students to come by and take a quick survey. 230 students took time out to answer the questions.
Katie McKnight is the president of the Economics Club, Nick Brewer is the vice president and Tony Myers is the secretary. Katie said the way this survey ties into economics is that they are studying the effect of having only one food supplier on campus. They are seeing if it affects the students negatively and basically in order to figure out if it’s affecting them, we ask them if they are satisfied with it.
“It’s important to know why we were doing the research,” McKnight said. “We tried really hard not to have any expectations of what we thought the students’ outcomes were going to be. It’s important to know we’re not on anyone’s side. We’re just trying to study the effects.”
Overall, students were iffy on how they felt about the price of the food served at Missouri Western. One hundred and thirty-nine students out of 230 thought it was overpriced.
The quality of the food served was satisfactory. 119 students out of 230 disagreed. One hundred and fifty-seven students out of 230 felt that the quality of the food did not match the prices of the food.
Traveling off campus to get food is more satisfactory to getting food on campus. 171 students out of 230 agreed.
Tony Myers said he doesn’t eat on campus often but he does think that the price of a cup of vegetables and a bottle of water is high, around 3 or 4 dollars.
“The advantages of competition are good for consumers but they may come at an expense to the school that could be shifted to the students,” Myers said.
Myers knows that there is a lot of behind the scenes information that he and other students may not be aware of.
“I don’t know all the ins and outs but there are a lot of variables to consider. When the current food is under contract then they have the potential to have their student customers have to buy flex dollars. But I cannot say they are not providing food at their lowest possible cost. But the exclusivity of their contract does remove the threat of immediate competition,” Myers said.
Nick Brewer said the purpose of the whole study was to show the affects of the monopoly on consumers.
“The monopoly would be Aramark, the product would be the food that they serve and the consumer would be the students,” Brewer said. “One of the effects on monopoly on a consumer is that they produce an inferior product as opposed to if there was competition, so basically we just tried to find the quality of the product.”