Some other changes that the UB Rector’s team demanded to the research Centre that broke the silence on gender-based violence was to remove the menu tickets available to all those students who enjoyed FPU or FI grants (i.e. fellowships from the Spanish government or the Catalan government) or an equivalent wage. At that time, in the canteens of the faculties where they worked, while the permanent teaching staff were having their lunch menu, the scholarship holders were forced to have a sandwich that they could not bring from home, since in the canteens you could only consume products bought in the premises (it was not permitted to bring any external type of food), which did not exactly have a good value for money.
This research Centre claimed from the beginning for a drastic change concerning that norm considering that in the canteens of public universities it should be allowed to eat anything, irrespective whether it was bought in the premises or directly brought from home in a lunch-box. Since there were obscure interests aiming to delay that conquest for many years, said research Centre, that shared the values of equality and freedom, decided that everyone who wanted to eat the menu had the right to enjoy it; then they provided lunch-menu tickets so that it would be free for those who had a lower salary. In order to fund this measure, some of the people in the Centre who enjoyed higher salaries in the Universities and who delivered well paid lectures frequently, used to ask that the payment for those lectures, trainings and reports be made to the Centre instead of being directly credited to them. This solidarity helped to create a very egalitarian atmosphere that further improved the “good vibes”.
This new scenario made harassers to be angry as they were aware that their potential victims were a lot weaker when isolated whereas they became stronger in case they enjoyed good relationships with other human beings. They set out to destroy what, according to them, was misunderstood egalitarianism that could be passed on to other groups. They disseminated all sorts of slanders with this objective and achieved the collaboration of the feudal faculty of other research groups that did not do it and did not want to do the same, and that took this measure as insulting, and also from others who were envious for not enjoying the same pleasant atmosphere. One of their lies was that the solidarity teachers were forced not to be paid for some of their activities, when the truth is that some teachers got paid, others did not, and there was no problem whatsoever. Another lie was that this free ticket had the objective of forcing the scholarship holders to eat together, when in reality each person both at lunch and in their free time have always done what they wished in this Centre that has been a defender of individual freedom in a feudal University environment.
The ban on free menu tickets was not applicable to the University as a whole. At that time there were high University officials that had free meals outside the University, much more expensive, paid in part with the overheads of research projects of this and other Centres. The ban applied only to this Centre, that enabled the Rector’s team validate the lies and also tried uselessly to spoil the good atmosphere in the Centre. There have been no menu tickets ever since. Now this does not matter that much because currently anyone can take whatever food they want, but for a few years this was harmful for the scholarship holders.
The atmosphere amongst the people of the aforementioned research Centre in the canteen still causes anger to some professors due to, among other things, the maximum respect, tolerance and defence of the individual freedom of each one. In addition, the “contagion” that the harassers feared so much has occurred, in part due to the fact that anybody can take their own lunch-box and you can see people from the same research group enjoying lunch together, some of them having a menu and some others eating the food they brought from home and both with the same quality.