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OPINION: Vegetarian dining options still lacking in residence halls


As I lug my tired butt down from the third floor of Merrill Hall into the dining hall, I realize two things: one — I pay too much money to be here and have my meals consist of soup, salad, soup, salad, ed nauseum. Two — how long is it going to be until there’s always a vegetarian option available at cafeterias around campus, and not just a day of the week devoted to “healthy eating?” 

I don’t understand how I’m still having this problem after two years on campus.

I’m a vegetarian partly by choice, but also partly because I have a condition. I have a “sensitive stomach,” according to the gastroenterologist .I also have acid reflux, meaning highly acidic foods and I mix about as well as a freshman with two fifths of vodka at their first frat party.

It’s easier for me to just stay away from most meat.

As a student of Central Michigan University, and one who lives in a residence hall, I should have a reasonable expectation of being able to find food on campus that isn’t either processed or the same thing every day. Part of my room and board goes into the more than $2 million it costs to run the Merrill Residential Restaurant. 

If it’s expected of me to pay for food I can’t eat, it should be expected of meat-eating students to pay for food they might not want to eat too.

Having vegetarian options every day that isn’t soup, salad or pizza isn’t just beneficial to vegetarians either. While CMU isn’t the most diverse campus in Michigan, we have a fairly substantial population of students who might not eat meat for cultural or religious reasons. 

When Lent rolled around, every dining hall on campus made sure fish was ready to be served every Friday. So why can’t the same courtesy be extended to students who aren’t of the Christian faith? Or students who just plain old don’t want to, or can’t, eat meat?

What it boils down to is this: as a member of the campus community, I shouldn’t have to take a backseat or eat less so the dining halls can save money by mass producing sloppy joes. Meanwhile, they spoon out the same wilted salad day after day. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a vegetarian option to be available every day in the dining halls around campus.

If “healthy eating” every day is really what they’re trying to preach, it would be nice if they’d actually follow through.

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About Jordyn Hermani

Troy senior Jordyn Hermani, Editor-in-Chief of Central Michigan Life, is a double major ...

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