Kingston Uni pioneers new cheese-roll culture

Feeling peckish? Hungry after a lecture? In need of a meal? As well as its Clown House and Future Ill’s programme, Kingston University is pioneering another ‘sector-leading’ strategy to make its rivals blue and green with envy: quick-bite cheese rolls and ‘transformative’ vending machine drinks to help enhance your Future Skills.

When two scientists recently took a visitor for a coffee in the Picton Room at Kingston University’s Penryhn Road campus, they were surprised and clearly disgusted to find that the popular ground-floor meeting and eating room had been closed. In an announcement quietly slipped out on 27 April, and hardly noticed by staff at first, the Uni suddenly revealed radical changes to KU’s catering and hospitality provision, not just at Penryhn Road but across the whole Uni. The Picton Room was closed the very next day.

While the announcement said that other Pen Road outlets ‘continue to be available for food and refreshments’, the now former Picton Room will be incorporated into the money-gobbling ‘Main Building Transformation Project’, which has left the campus looking more like a permanent building site since the middle of 2023, and is part of the VC’s ‘legacy’ big-build projects he loves to spend millions on. Trying to sound enthusiastic, the message added: ‘To complement the existing catering outlets at Penryhn Road, the Transformation Project will add new vending machines offering quality hot drinks and snacks as well as a kitchen space with microwaves and sinks providing more choice for students’. So that’s alright then. Staff will be able to use super efficient ‘vending machines’ to obtain ‘quality hot drinks and snacks’ for themselves and their guests (such as External Examiners), while students will be able to eagerly cater for their own catering needs with a few microwaves and even some sinks to wash up in.

No doubt all this was sold to the BOG (Board of Governors) at their January meeting as ‘ground-breaking’, ‘sector-leading’ and ‘transformational’, all the usual managerial BS terms so favoured by Steven ‘Two Jobs’ Spier, KU’s Vice-Admiral and a true legend in his own lunchtime. Never mind that serious money was invested in the creation of the Picton Room when it was first opened, and that the local connections to former Black slave Cesar Picton were exploited at length in Uni marketing campaigns. After all, it’s only money.

The Picton was a good alternative to sitting in the main and noisy canteen at Pen Road, and was also a rare space where staff could arrange to greet and meet, relax over a meal or coffee, or arrange to host external visitors. No longer. The message is now, er, ‘hard cheese’. Use a vending machine.

But it gets worse. From 15 April, KU staff found that the Town House cafe at Pen Road now closes at the radically revised time of 6.00pm. Think about that. When it was first opened, the Clown House, which cost over £4m, was proclaimed by Spier and his gang of overpaid Silver Leadership Teamsters as the new ‘jewel in the crown’ of Kingston Uni. Glossy images of the building, shining brightly in the evening, with happy staff and students active and busy on all floors, were a core part of the expensive marketing of the ‘award-winning’ project. The cafe, they said, was a ‘pioneering’ new public space, which would help ‘transform’ the image of the Uni, exemplifying (quote) a ‘refreshing and imaginative design culture’ that would (quote) unite ‘town and gown’ and leave visiting dignitaries in awe.

There was more to come. In more penny-pinching blows, the Knight’s Park Bar will now no longer open on Mondays or Tuesdays during term times. Kingston Hill library cafe will now close at 7pm instead of 8.30pm during term time, and will no longer open outside of term time (which is surely a big and surprising middle-finger to all those Management and Business Studies students who study at the Hill, especially parents and time-challenged part-timers who work in central London and have to commute and juggle their studies carefully). But wait! There’s even more. Kingston Hill Costa/Shop will now close at the earlier time of 4pm on weekdays and no longer be open on Sundays during term time and at weekends non-term time. In other words, staff and students at Kingston Hill, in need of a purchase or essential bite to eat, will now find themselves in the University catering services equivalent of a ghost town campus. No doubt the answer will be yet more lovely ‘vending machines’.

It all makes a mockery of Aramark and ‘Eat Central’, and adds insult to injury by the Uni’s SLT daleks. As Kingston University staff speculate about who will be axed in a new round of redundancies, all these short-sighted ‘economies’ are yet another sign of the deplorable financial mismanagement of the institution overseen by ‘Sir’ Steven ‘Two Jobs’ Spier, Kingston’s Gold Commandant, who is also an expert on Swiss cheeses and the world’s leading architect. It will further demoralize both students and staff. Hunting down some decent food and drink at Kingston Polyversity in the future will be the only ‘Future Skill’ needed. Home-made cheese-roll, anyone?

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6 Responses to Kingston Uni pioneers new cheese-roll culture

  1. Miss Mary says:

    A colleague in KBS messaged me this morning that “Bum-Bum-Butler” was making claims of her research excellence in the crappy newsletter that KBS produces. She has yet another “4 star”…….hahaha another wool over the eyes. So I had to pre-pone my note on Bum-Bum Butler who is one of the biggest research hoax of KU no less.

    Fact 1: She only has ONE (yes that is right only ONE) ABS 3 star as first author. This wont get her even a lecturer job in my university but hey this is KU and she will become professor on the back of just one first author paper in ONE reputable journal.

    Fact 2: All her top papers are either as last or second last co-author probably her contribution as proof-reader!

    Fact 3: She is an average to below average researcher who played dirty tricks to get rid of all the top researchers in DOM. Oh yes she has couple of other papers as first authors all in crappy journals one could use as alternative toilet paper if you ever run out of one.

    Bum-Bum Butler is a vile venomous snake who bit everyone who fed her and even poor Stalking HAND with whom she had a torrid affair (eiuu even back then it made me sick to the guts) – only in KU a below average researcher like her can be professor. Remmember just 1 first authored 3 star! – hahahaha what a joke

  2. Miss Mary says:

    Let me give a few sane ideas to save money related to KBS and also to earn a few coins

    Sack the outdated , lazy, non-research active, super expensive academic donkeys who are the “IT- academics” infested in DAFI.

    Becky brain-on-lease , Elena fucked up nasty, Ole Stuart, hairy dan the pan and Barry the ole racist (5 minutes with him and you feel you are in Ole south talking to a member of Ku Klux Klan).

    Becky nicknamed the ” ole fart” is a lying thief who was delighted by the sickness of Dean Dandy (can anyone human be delighted by such a thing!). She has a PhD in education, teaches IT and leads Accounting & Finance folks. Only Kingston can achieve this feat.

    Elena has no research record except begging people to add her name to their papers! Why she is even there is a mystery.

    Old timers will recall how the IT department was closed down and merged with A&F. These leading “educationists” have since launched two failed programs. There is a reason – None of them can publish themselves in an IT journal leave alone read the latest. In a world of AI, VR, Metaverse and Avataars you have these DOS enabled idiots teaching hapless students how to build websites – (ROFL)

    I know VC and PROVOST reads this blog – sack them and hire people who at least has moved into the 21st century. Kick the backside of A&F people to become HOD and stop being such an embarrasement.

    Next post- I will profile my former department which is in the grips of two nasty ole hags – not so young and not so smart also known as “Tarty Tits” and the vile unethical “bum-butler” whose use of her bum has made her survive in a department which once was full of brilliant people.

    Then I will profile the boring SMI (I would need to drown myself in a vat of black coffee to write about them) and non -attached with special feature on “Fatso Favato” and how he is also two jobs biatch

  3. It’s all par for the course. Soon to come will be AI-generated lectures, administered by robots. Whatever it takes to save a few coins.

  4. Meh says:

    The fact that the library cafe at KH etc will no longer be open outside of ‘term time’ – what is defined as ‘term time’?? Nursing students are on campus year round – there have been instances where students have been in and there is not a single place open to get a sandwich or sometimes even a hot drink

  5. Dismayed says:

    Appalling. Staff being treated like crap as usual at KU.

  6. dsafkasfoeahgfueigfueqfhoq says:

    I am bloody sick of this. We can’t have anything can we? its yet another example of the microaggresions against staff at this place. Staff have absolutley nowhere to go, no green room and no space away from students either. Students have no proper union other than a small bar which is closed two days a week now and a few overpriced cafes which shut early.

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