Students are refusing to eat at the main dining hall on East Campus, demanding better food and service.

In a joint initiative led by Men’s Res, Sunnyside and South Point residents, students say they will boycott the dining hall and have called on other students to join them.

“The price of our meals has increased but the standard of food has declined,” said Dominic Khumalo, deputy chairperson of Men’s Res.

Students are complaining about the quality of the food they receive, with dry chicken, stale bread, salads that ”aren’t fresh” and juice ”that is sometimes expired” topping the list of complaints.

There is also widespread concern that students are not receiving good value for money, with prices having increased this year to nearly R30 a meal.

“I don’t mind paying the price for the food, but the quality needs to improve with the price. They need to offer us variety. I’m a vegetarian and I am forced to eat veggie schnitzel three times a day,” said Derick Mohlala, a 4th year student.

Students who frequent the main dining hall say the food at residences such as Convocation and Jubilee is of a much higher standard, and that bigger portions are served.

“I only come here because it’s convenient,” said Bandla Mabaso, an accounting student. “They need to be more creative, and explore more options so that food is more tasty. If they are going to make briyani it should taste like briyani,” he adds.

Female students are also complaining that there aren’t enough healthy options.

“It’s just not up to standard, they serve us the same thing every day, it’s so mundane and not at all healthy,” said Thato Imasiku, an honours student who has lived in Res her entire university career.

Bad service also seems to be a talking point among disgruntled Witsies.

“The staff are sometimes very rude,” said fourth year Sibeso Kamanga.

At a mass meeting to be held this week, students who say they are being ”undermined” will call on their peers to book meals at other dining halls until the quality and quantity of food improves.