Being vegetarian or vegan on campus: What are your options?

Lillianna Munoz, Contributing Writer

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Students entering college as vegetarian or vegan can find it hard to keep that diet due to limited campus food options. With campus food being provided by a corporation, sometimes students have to find solutions for their diet choices outside of the dining halls.

I spoke with Kristi Hammaker in the DAWN Office for Student Wellness about options available to vegetarian or vegan students on campus. “[They are] very limited,” she said. “The other thing to consider…is that our dining services is run by a corporation known as Aramark.” 

To get information from them you must first speak with their dietitian, who will then walk you through the facilities and show you potential options; they’re aware that students have dietary needs and they do try to accommodate that. 

A student living on campus must have a meal plan, and without any cooking areas beside the microwaves provided in each room of the dormitories, making their own meals is almost impossible – instant ramen and mac & cheese can get old quickly. 

Looking at the most popular places on campus to eat, the Scranton Commons and the Husky Lounge do offer vegetarian options. 

Steph Bush, a sophomore Nursing major, says she had been a vegetarian for two years before coming to college. While discussing the different options on campus, she said, “Husky was pretty expensive…I could have sides that were less expensive but Commons was way better, pricewise. [At the Commons] there was a really small selection. I can’t imagine being vegan and living on campus.”

 While Bush liked being vegetarian, she did alter her diet after moving onto campus. She said that she wasn’t very strict and that if she had been she could’ve made it work on campus.

“Ultimately, [Aramark] can’t make students eat a certain thing. And they’ve tried to provide as much variety as they can at a cost that is going to work for everyone.” says Hammaker.

 Students must really advocate for themselves, even if that means buying food to have in your room and finding recipes to cook in your microwave.