Calling all vegetarians: This is the club for you
Dr. Joe Little, an English Professor at NU, realized that over the years more and more students have come to him after class to casually discuss vegetarianism. This led to some interest on campus and thus the group "The NU Vegetarian Project" was formed.
Little has been a vegetarian for 8-10 years and explained that if the project loses interest and evaporates then that's fine, but if not, then he's leaving it up to the students. "It's the student vision, not mine," He said. "It's whatever the students want out of it."
If this group of students want to go out to eat some place vegan or watch a vegan-vegetarian related movie then Little will be very encouraging. "I just want to support them," He said.
Luna McGill, a junior at NU, is very enthusiastic about the project. "I'm really excited that vegetarians are being represented on campus," she said.
Many other students and faculty are also very excited. "I'm psyched," Dr. Abigail Levin, a philosophy professor at NU said.
The NU Vegetarian Project's first meeting was Monday, March 22.
"I think that the first meeting was amazing," said Dana Levy, a junior student who has been a vegetarian for two years.
"It was great to see so many students and faculty excited about a lifestyle that has brought me a lot of happiness," said Dr. Seneca Vaught, a history and Africana Studies professor at NU.
"The people were amazing and all very accepting of each other's differences in eating habits and reasons for their diets," said Jessica Garfinkel, senior student who has been a vegetarian for a year and a half.
"After the meeting I made the decision that I want to return to my vegetarian ways," said Lela Mayfield, a sophomore student.
Over the years students have requested more vegan-vegetarian friendly and overall healthier options at Clet dining hall. "Due to the demand, the selections of vegan-vegetarian options have grown," said Chris Ferguson, director of contract services & risk management.
Mark McKibbin, operations manager in hospitality services at NU, and Ferguson used the 1-2-3 Dining Surveys that were recently sent out to students as a communication tool in the decision making process on what students are looking for.
During the first week, results were split right down the middle in regards to the question: "Would you be willing to eat more meatless entrees in support of sustainable food production?" Out of the 361 responses, 170 said "yes" whereas 172 said "no" and the remaining 19 did not answer.
There is a new and improved vegan-vegetarian section at Clet, it is a cook-to-order dish station. "It's much like the International station," McKibbin said.
Both McKibbin and Ferguson are looking for feedback from the students on what they would like or wouldn't like at Clet. McKibbin and Ferguson recommend the next time the 1-2-3 surveys show up, every student should complete it and make their voices heard.
"We use the surveys to bring about change," Ferguson said.
"We'd rather hear from the individuals to get what they want," McKibbin said.
Both McKibbin and Ferguson can be contacted directly at: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find more information about the NU Vegetarian Project or its upcoming events and meetings, join the Facebook Group: NU Vegetarian Project