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Barry spearheads veggie petition
100 sign on to veggie choices petition
One of freshman Emily Barry’s first impressions of Quinnipiac was that the vegetarian eating options were not fresh, varied or particularly nutritional.
“The vegetables here are disgusting and drenched in butter and salt, which is unhealthy,” Barry said.
Barry is not alone in her assessment of QU’s veggie menu. More than 100 students have signed the petition Barry created, which calls for additional vegetarian choices on the dining menus.
Café Q’s Culinary Table currently offers three entrees per meal, one of which is vegetarian. Other vegetarian options include the salad bar offerings and selected offerings at the Naked Pear. According to Associate Director of Dining Services Leean Spalding, students may substitute non-vegetarian dishes for vegetarian dishes at Yan Can Cook, the Asian dining station.
“We can always adjust the menu if someone asks at any of these places,” Spalding said.
For freshman Brett Kaselouskas, adjusting the menu did not come easily. According to Kaselouskas, when he asked the server at Yan Can Cook to substitute a pork pot sticker for a vegetable pot sticker in December, the waiter ostensibly granted his request. However, one bite into the pot sticker showed that it was not “veggie” at all.
“As a strict vegetarian, I e-mailed Chartwells only to get a token apology,” Kaselouskas said.
That experience motivated him to sign Barry’s petition.
“A lot of times, options are so limited,” he said. “I seem to eat the same thing everyday, which isn’t healthy because meals should be varied.”
According to Spalding, the dining hall options are “based off demand,” and vegetables sell better as side dishes than as entrees. Following the semester’s end, Chartwells will try to increase its vegetarian items, Spalding said.
“We might offer less pasta, and more bean and protein-based vegetarian options,” Spalding said. The planned changes might include the Bobcat Den, but not the York Hill Cafeteria.
Because of the Den’s limited choices, Kaselouskas confines his diet to Café Q’s salad bar.
“The Rat especially needs more vegetarian options; the Café at least has the salad bar. The Rat doesn’t, so I come to the cafe despite being far less convenient,” Kaselouskas said. “I can’t just eat cheese pizza and chocolate chip cookies everyday. I’m getting pretty sick of the salad bar.”
Barry hopes to get at least 750 signatures, and plans to present her petition to the Student Government Association, Spalding and Chartwells Director Joseph Tobin. According to Barry, the petition has support from vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Junior Mike Tarr, who is not a vegetarian, sees potential benefits of increased vegetarian options beyond physical health.
“In the United States, obesity has become an unfortunate epidemic in that it’s preventable with good nutrition and exercise,” Tarr said. “With the benefits of good nutrition in mind, offering a wider variety of healthy food options can only improve the quality of life and academic success of the Quinnipiac student body.”