Over the winter break, University students took to social media to debate over the possibility of a fast food chain, McDonald’s, in St Andrews. The debate escalated to the point where student Adam Johnston started a petition campaigning for a McDonald’s in St Andrews.
“It has long been the case, much to the bitter indictment of many dejected citizens of St Andrews – University students or otherwise – that this otherwise wonderful town does not contain within its boundaries a sacred set of Golden Arches,” Mr. Johnston said on his Change.org petition page.
He continued, “The subsequent lack of late night nugget provisions, among the many other services that are simply not available to these vindicated citizens, is a major concern, leading to many instances of the munchies (late night or otherwise) going simply unnoticed and uncared for.”
On the petition comments, Scott Fraser wrote, “McDonald’s is a cost-effective eatery franchise and St Andrews could do with a few more of such things.”
The petition did not hold much traction, and as of 2 February 2018, has 114 signatures.
However, St Feuddrews, a Facebook page which highlights students’ opinions and issues with the town and University anonymously, saw a debate on fast food chains in the town while the petition began to gain traction.
St Feuddrews often serves as a platform for debate, and, in this case, other students were keen to support local businesses, such as Dervish or Empire, against the idea of bringing a McDonald’s into town.
While some students may just want a Big Mac, this debate also hints at larger issues that face the student body. As these posts circulated St Feuddrews a few weeks before students began feverishly looking for affordable accommodation, there is a common theme of students wanting more accessible and affordable amenities than those which the town has to offer.
Student Hadley Menk stated that while she has little interest in more affordable food options, she does not feel that McDonald’s or other fast food chains would help that problem.
“We need healthier and cheaper options. I think if we had a larger grocery store closer to town, the students without cars would be able to easily stock up on inexpensive good to keep in their flats,” Menk said.
However, as the University explores ways for the town to increase affordability for students, as seen with efforts by Rector Srdja Popovic for affordable student accommodation, students may see issues such as affordable eat-ing being taken on in the future.
First-year student Emily Lacey commented that she would welcome a McDonalds in town, as it would be a place for quicker and cheaper takeaway.
“McDonald’s would offer better tasting food and cheaper, so I agree that there should be one in town,” Lacey said.
The issue of a McDonald’s in St Andrews has not currently been pressed forward beyond the petition.