More than 600 students responded to our appeal on canteens, let’s look together at the advantages and problems of the canteen system at the Politecnico di Milano.
First of all, there are several canteens at the Politecnico but, as can be seen from the graph, Bovisa seems to have won the prize for value for money, with an average of about 3 points out of 5. The large portions prize is won by the canteen at the Lecco Campus, while at Leonardo the best thing seems to be the kindness and helpfulness of the staff (not too good!).
The problem of prices
The biggest problem when looking at the comments is the prices, the full menu at 7€ is considered excessive for a university canteen, especially considering that the meal voucher for students entitled to a scholarship is 5€ and is insufficient for eating in the university canteens.
In the survey, we also asked the opinion of those who do not attend canteens, and the alternative that goes for the best is always the schiscetta. To prepare it, the students stated that they spend between 2.5€ and 5€, which, even at the highest end, is still 2€ less than the full menu offered by canteens (and which costs 7€).
The most worrying thing is that the tender won by the operators in some areas such as Leonardo places no limits on price increases, so it is difficult to put constraints on increases and almost impossible to lower prices, almost: as representatives, we opposed the extension of these contracts, which were due to expire in 2025 but were extended until 2026 by a resolution of the Board of Directors (CDA), the only one who did not vote in favour was our representative on the CDA.
At other universities, such as the Politecnico di Torino, the menu and the cost is proportional to the student’s ISEE bracket and in any case the most expensive price is around €5! 2026 seems a long way off, but in the meantime we have decided to start thinking about alternatives, in the hope of finding more immediate solutions.
Another critical point that emerges is the total inadequacy of the spaces, which are not proportionate to the number of students: now that the semester has begun, in some canteens there are even queues of 30/40 minutes, unbearable for those who have to take a lunch break in an hour and then return to class.
In a university where lecture halls are also in short supply, it is hard to imagine that space will be found for canteens, but better agreements could be made or a takeaway service with online booking could be envisaged, so as to at least avoid the long queues. Speaking of take-away, on the Leonardo campus you pay that too, a good 50 cents if you decide to take your food away. This, a novelty that seems to have been added recently, is definitely something we can get rid of, in the next few days we will contact the office in charge to report this oddity.
We continue to work on it with a group of students and representatives of Svoltastudenti, if you feel like getting involved or are curious to see how canteen proposals and contracts work, contact us!