Budgetary cuts threaten Café MultilinguaNews
The future at Café Multilingua or “The Language Café”, traditionally held on Wednesdays at Språk- och Litteraturcentrum, is now threatened due to financial reasons.
“The university has decided to organize the Café Multilingua only once a month instead of every week, because a lot of money is spent on coffee”, says Laura Kokki, a student who is responsible for making this event happen every Wednesday.
The café where Swedish language students from Språk- och Litteraturcentrum, SOL, could meet international students and practice their languages, has been going on for two years. It has become a popular event in Lund, with an average of about 80 students present every Wednesday from 17:00 to 19:00.
As a result, it has gone far beyond the student community from SOL, as Carlos Tuesta-Soldevilla, the International Affairs Manager from the Faculty of Humanities, says:
“Now very few Swedish students come and many of them belong to other faculties from Lund University or are not even students. It is now something like a pub and the university cannot support that kind of social events.”
The main reason, however, is financial:
“The coffee bought from the cafeteria to be given during the Café Multilingua costs a lot of money. And we also offer cookies and something else. This is why we cannot keep organizing this every week”, says Carlos.
Yet, Laura and the frequent Café Multilingua visitor Daniele Cavallari disagree.
“Many students who come to the Café are Swedish and this is also a possibility for meeting new people. It’s a cultural meeting point”, says Daniele.
“For Swedish people it’s a great opportunity to interact with internationals with common interests, which, otherwise, wouldn’t probably happen”, he added.
Having the Café once a month would still be better than nothing, one might think. But the students do not support this change.
“Many people would forget it, I think. Because you would lose the routine and it’s not so good to speak a language once a month as once a week”, says Laura.
“I think it would become a secondary thing, with people having other ‘Wednesday things’ to do at that time”, Daniele says.
On the Café Multilingua facebook group, the disapproval is also evident. There, among some possible solutions that would keep the Café alive every week, one seems to be easily applicable:
“People have written that they would still come without coffee”, Laura Kokki says, being disappointed about the university’s decision.