Dining hall outreach:
In a recent school survey, nearly 30 percent of Goucher College students indicated they were vegetarians, according to Norman Zwagil, campus food provider general manager. And they now likely find a variety of options in the campus dining hall. Before, the school followed code to offer one vegetarian entree per meal, but now about 60 percent of the food sent from food provider Bon Appetit Management Company is vegetarian, he says.
"We went from being compliant with our company's principles to now having many more options because of the number of people who are committed to being vegetarian or vegan," he says. That's important for carnivorous students as well, he notes; just because you eat meat doesn't mean you want to consume it every day, he says.
[Read about other ways dining halls are changing—and how it could affect your tuition.]
If you're unhappy with your school's dining options, don't be afraid to take your concerns to campus dining services personnel, says Westminster College's Vought. "This is the way [students] can use their voice and be active in helping change the policies of colleges," she notes. "When they do, everybody wins."
Such change is afoot at St. Mary's College of Maryland, which student vegetarian Lindsey Siferd says has been culinarily revitalized over the past year. After students pushed for higher quality dining options—including more vegetarian offerings—she says the school's food provider, Bon Appetit Management Company, responded positively. After a campaign on Facebook, a protest against Chick-fil-A, and student meetings with Bon Appetit, requests for a greater variety of healthy food on campus were met.
"Use your voices—students are the paying customers," notes Debra Boutin, head of the nutrition and exercise science department at Bastyr University. "Just going away to school is such a huge life change. The last thing you need is not to be well nourished."
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