By: Raven Ash
It is no secret that college students face many challenges every single day. Classes are time consuming, homework is challenging, and balancing a social life with academics and other responsibilities can be even more difficult. For students who are vegan on campus, they face another everyday challenge on top of the already existing daily challenges.
Vegans on campus find it difficult to find meals that fit their dietary needs in the Quincy University cafeteria. While the cafeteria offers a variety of meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, most meals contain animal product.
Vegans say it is common for the cafeteria to serve a vegan dish at one meal, but not at another. This makes it difficult for vegan students to eat their three meals on campus. Kitchens are not available in every residence hall, so students are not always able to cook for themselves if the cafeteria does not have an option for them at a particular time.
“I can almost never eat like a full meal. It is always like parts like vegetables, a bagel, or just soup. It is never the full thing being served,” Richard Peat, vegan, said.
The cafeteria offers a salad bar, but very few dressings are vegan. It is also very difficult for a person to eat off of the salad bar and consume enough protein to keep their bodies fueled.
“I work out every day, but one day a week. So obviously I need to eat to get carbs and put on weight,” Peat said.
Vegan students are forced to pay for the meal plan that is paired with their housing, however they claim to not have a variety to where they can take full advantage of that plan. They actually end up spending more money on ordering food off campus or from a grocery store.
“I feel like if we are spending so much money, there should at least one meal, once a day, that fits everyone’s needs,” Dayja Oenning, Peat’s girlfriend, said.
Quincy University dining services says that there are more options for vegan students if they make themselves and their dietary needs known.
“Anyone with special diet request we like them to reach out to us personally so we can meet with them and sort of come up with a plan. It does not do us a lot of good to put out a bunch of stuff that no one is going to eat,” Joe Bordewick, director of dining services, said.
If a student with dietary needs has a request, the cafeteria is happy to bring that option to the table.
“We had a couple of students that were new in the fall for example who were vegan and reached out to us. We asked them what type of things that they like to have on a regular basis and we brought those things in for them. It was sort of on the basis of they ask us for it when they wanted it and we prepared it,” Bordewick said.