A week after Excalibur published on its front page that Blueberry Hill — one of York’s last family-run campus restaurants — was facing an unceremonious shut-down, I found myself riding the GO bus with a pair of York students who expressed their opinions about the subject:
“To be honest, I don’t really care if Blueberry Hill shuts down,” said one student riding the bus that day.
Let me start by saying that I only set foot in the Hill for the first time in my third undergrad year, and the breakfasts and beers (though not in combination) were only better with shared conversations with friends and fellow editors. The Hill’s old-school feeling and affable staff, complete with its pyjama-pants-clad owner Alex, certainly helped the experience as well.
But this is not a sentimental defense of Blueberry Hill. I won’t be listing my top 10 reasons as to why the 20-year-old eatery should stay on campus forever.
The numerous comments on Excalibur’s website already show that students do have strong attachments to the place, and that played a major part in why they didn’t want to see the Hill go down.
Others noted how brutal the conditions are for independent restaurants like the Hill, forced to take backward steps due to the glaring fact that unlike corporate chains, they have less power during negotiations.
However, your collective comments and actions snowballed into a voice large enough to be heard, and that voice said it wanted Blueberry Hill to stay. So it stays, at least for another year. It could have been forced to pack up and leave by the new school year, and a part of the many reasons why they haven’t been shown the door just yet is due to your proactive stance.
On the other hand, if you don’t care much for the memories that York’s community members associate with the Hill, there’s nothing wrong with that. Strictly speaking, people shouldn’t be obligated to sympathize with the emotional attachment of others. For every group you know that dedicates itself to a worthy cause, rest assured you’ll just as easily be able to find a group that doesn’t give a hoot about that same cause.
But I’ve seen so many interesting things while attending university, and just on this campus alone. Behind the demonstrations, petitions, workshops, and homemade pamphlets are the faces of passionate people who care about what they do. They come together to build a voice, just like how you heard the voice vouch for an endangered campus eatery.
We are here to pursue a higher education, yes. While cram sessions, all-nighters, 2000-word papers, and heavily weighted exams are definitely part of the experience, this is also a good chance to use your time as a student to stop and listen to the voices around you as you discover your own.
Welcome to York if you’re new; welcome back if you’re returning.
Find something you care about during your time here. I wish you the best of luck with your search.