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Closed kitchen

When my (ex-) lab was (forcibly) suggested to move out of the main campus building to an office building in the north of Zurich, it was rather beneficial to me. The new building is a mere 500 metres from my flat, and the university cut a deal with the nearby Turbine Personalrestaurant to offer us our choice of three excellent meals for lunch each day for a mere CHF 7 (4.25€; less than half of what you generally have to pay in Zurich for lunch). That restaurant is within eyesight of my flat. I could not have asked for more, really.

Since then, the rest of the Department of Informatics has moved to another building across the street. Initially, the what supposed to include our group as well, but we resisted successfully. Even after I had left the lab, I continued meeting my former colleagues for lunch every other day, which was a great way to stay in touch.

Anyway, with now more than 100 university employees in this part of town (which is supposed to become the third campus over the next ten years), the university opened a "Mensa" (university cafeteria) and subsequently stopped the subventions of our lunches at Turbine.

This is a serious degradation of quality of life for all of us. Granted, Swiss university cafeterias must rank among the best in the world, but they still suck: you are treated as a number, no exceptions (like if you leave your ID card at home), and the food (which is far less appetising when served in masses) is slapped onto your plate without much love.

Also, the new cafeteria is now much further away from my flat, so I am less likely to join the others for lunch on a regular basis. While most of my former colleagues are in the process of graduating anyway and I haven't really linked up with the new ones yet, this would have happened gradually anyway, but gradually is better than immediately.

So now I am depressed and pondering whether to just not eat anymore. Damn you, university!