By Amy Price
The music is bumping, students dancing, the grill is sizzling and everyone is enjoying their plump, delicious hot dogs. Nothing is wrong with this, except I am a pescatarian, which means I do not eat land animals, and Brookhaven College has very limited dining choices, especially when it comes to campus events.
On Sept. 19, the Welcome Back Party took place in the Commons Courtyard. I bypassed the extremely long line and politely asked if a vegetarian hot dog was available. I got a sullen “No, they’re all beef,” and I walked over to the tiny bags of chips sitting at the adjacent table and grabbed one.
I guess chips are better than nothing, but students attending campus events at the University of North Texas or University of Dallas easily find food lines for meat, vegetarian and vegan options.
Sure, we have Subway, and not to knock on their establishment, but one can only eat so many meatless sandwiches and greasy cheese pizzas.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Subway, but for a pescatarian, tuna gets old after a while. Subway does offer a veggie patty, but honestly, it is just not very good and resembles a burnt hash brown.
According to a poll on www.collegeprowler.com, UNT ranks 73 out of 1,211 listed colleges under the “best vegetarian/vegan friendly options.” Brookhaven was absent from the list. UNT made national news last year when the university opened its vegan-only dining hall.
I spend up to 40 hours a week on campus and it would be nice to have more options.Granted, we are not a huge university, but I do not think it is too much to ask that Brookhaven offer a veggie dog at student events.
I believe this problem goes further than just my own personal preferences. I think it is safe to assume many students — due to religious standards or dietary restrictions — just cannot consume meat.
I went to the Office of Student Life to express my concerns. Yasaman Contractor, assistant director of student life, said no one has ever asked for veggie options. “We just went with the majority,” Contractor said.
In the past, the Taste of Cultures event was the only campus event that provided a vegetarian option.
Contractor said she does see a need for a vegetarian choice, and will be discussing the options with the Director of Student Life, Brian Borski, so future events might offer other options.
I have been at Brookhaven for a total of five semesters now, and was surprised at how friendly and helpful the OSL was. It is easy to sit back and complain about issues, but this time by taking action, I was able to possibly change something that has bothered me for the last few semesters. I just never took the time to ask someone about it.
The real testament of my actions will be tested at future campus events. I look forward to seeing those tasty meat-free links, veggie burgers or cheese sandwiches — not only for my own enjoyment, but for everyone else on campus who does not eat animals.