The McDonald’s restaurant in Gokongwei Hall was just the beginning.
Next academic year, ID 120 students and below will be greeted with a big red smile from Ronald McDonald as the University expands its partnership with the global fast food giant.
Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Campus Development Josemari Calleja reveals that this all started with a partnership created with McDonald’s Philippines Chairman George T. Yang, which so far had resulted in the creation of the George T. Yang Performing Arts Studios, located at the sixth floor of the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center. But the cooperation will not end there. Calleja reveals that as the renovation of Gokongwei Hall nears fruition, more plans have already been put into motion.
Such plans for further collaboration began as early as October last year, the AVC for Campus Development reveals, with McDonald’s Philippines’ aiding and supervising changes around the campus. “Our relationship with McDonald’s Philippines has definitely grown bigger over the years. And I think that it will really become bigger in the next few years,” Calleja predicts.
Among the first changes that students can expect is a speedier internet service. Dubbed McWiFi, the new campus Wi-Fi facility will be “much faster, just like fast food”, guarantees Calleja, compared to Animo Connect, which itself was only introduced last year. “Hopefully, this will solve all the current internet-related complaints most students have reported,” he remarks.
Calleja adds that the free Wi-Fi provided by McDonald’s Philippines will “reduce the miscellaneous fees” in students’ tuition fees. In return, McWifi will play one minute of McDonald’s advertisements after every one hour of usage.
AVC for Facilities Management Antonio Carlos Maralit also discloses that ID 120 students will be greeted with new warp zones around the campus—appropriately named as McWarp Zones. Structures were put up connecting the third floor of St. Miguel Hall to the second floor of Velasco Hall. An additional McWarp Zone was also added to the third floor of Velasco Hall to connect itself to the second floor of the Henry Sy Sr. Hall.
Elevators will also be receiving a much-needed update. Acknowledging the myriad of complaints students have aired with the elevators of Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall, Maralit announces that the fast food corporation has also sponsored their replacement. “Cutting-edge” elevators with an improved maximum capacity of 1,200 pounds will replace the unreliable fleet of lifts.
The new elevators will also be equipped with its own elevator music, only playing the iconic McDonald’s theme Para-pa-pa-pam, I’m Lovin’ It. These elevator configurations will also be integrated into other buildings, such as William Hall, Velasco Hall, and Yuchengco Hall.
The Henry Sy Sr. Hall will also house some of the bigger changes to the University in the form of bright yellow slides replacing the escalators going down, which Maralit justifies will “help students reach their classes faster.” He also states that going to classes will be “much more fun” now.
Perico’s at St. La Salle Hall and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the Learning Commons will also be retrofitted to align with McDonald’s “vision” for the school. The latter will be replaced with a McCafé establishment, while the former—now called McPerico’s—will serve the new McCarinderia menu, featuring Lasallian-exclusive meals like the McHakdog bun.
Meanwhile, the car park at Enrique M. Razon Sports Complex will also have a McDonald’s drive-thru, for the convenience of those students who want quick meals before they head to class.
McDonald’s, however, is hardly the only fast food chain with ambitions in the University.
University Chancellor Br. Bernard Oca FSC reveals ongoing negotiations with Jollibee Foods Corporation for a potential partnership with the University. Among the possible terms is a new specialization under the Philippine Studies program called “Philippine Culinary Studies” in which students would explore emerging trends in the local fast food industry.
Nevertheless, Oca “could not be more excited” with the current partnership. In fact, he jokes that he already “has the [McDonald’s] jingle stuck in [his] head” thanks to daily elevator trips to his office at the 15th floor of Henry Sy Sr. Hall, looking forward to whatever the future holds for McDonald’s newfound relationship with the University.
He assures, “Definitely, you’ll hear the students say, ‘I’m loving it.’”