Changes in the dining hall this year have sparked an interest throughout
the student body. While everyone has been gathering feedback from one
another about these changes, one group of people has been slightly left out: the
vegetarians. How do they feel? How have their lives been affected because of
“Most of the time I like to eat vegetarian, but I do occasionally eat fish or
meat,” said Psychology Professor Dr. Crystal Colter. Colter has been eating a
heavily vegetarian diet for about five years now. While she ate in the dining hall
frequently in the past, she enjoys it much more this semester. “For me, if there
were no good vegetarian options, it was easy to just eat meat that day. This year,
I almost never eat meat there because there are so many good choices,” Colter
“Every day that I’ve been there this year, there have been multiple options
instead of just a veggie burger every day.” She appreciates the added variety this
year to the vegetarian dishes. Even when she does not find all of the nutrition
she needs in the hot line, Colter likes to supplement with beans, cherry tomatoes,
etc. from the salad bar.
While Colter is satisfied with the recent changes in Pearson’s, she has a few
suggestions. “From a student’s perspective eating there three times a day, I’d like
to see a couple more standard options,” Colter said. She suggests grilled tofu
on the sandwich line or in the salad bar. These options would provide standard
proteins for vegetarians on days when the entrée option isn’t so appealing.
In contrast to Colter’s rave review of the new changes, several vegetarian
students have had mixed feelings in regards to the updates. “It gets a little old,
and you’re not getting a large margin of nutrition when you’re eating the same
veggies every day,” said Erika Hipsky, a sophomore pescetarian, in regards to
the mixed veggies frequently served in Pearsons.
In addition, Hanna Morgan, a junior vegetarian, thinks that the main hot line in
Pearsons provides vegetarian foods, but not real meal options. In other words,
there are vegetables, but not substantial entrees that compare to the entrees with
meat in them.
“I think that the meal change is not just hard for vegans, but also vegetarians,
pescetarians and people with dietary issues. It really hasn’t accommodated
anyone, just made everything taste a little better,” said Rose Sampley, a
sophomore vegetarian. In regards to accommodating students’ needs, however,
Colter would argue that those working for Metz this year are willing to cooperate
and help accommodate the needs of students in seek of help.
One thing that everyone can agree on is that this year’s Pearsons is
substantially better than last year’s Pearsons. “It was boring and repetitive. It
was like a cycle that repeated itself every week,” said another vegetarian student.
Hipsky also felt that the food provided last year was low quality without a lot of
vegetarian options aside from pasta.
In addition to opinions, vegetarian students have various suggestions for the
new food providers. They suggest having the omelet line available for lunch and
dinner as a high protein option or offering more healthy dessert options. Sampley
suggests more variety in regards to the fruit bar on a daily basis. Sarah Feely, a
sophomore vegetarian, suggests offering a vegetarian friendly soup rather than
just two soups with meat in them.
Overall, the vegetarian community on campus has taken notice of the
changes in Pearsons. While some things are greatly appreciated like the fresh
salad bar and the frequent and various vegetarian sides, a few negative opinions
are still present. More protein heavy entrees on a regular basis, not just once a
week, would be greatly appreciated as well as a few other tweaks in the menu.
While Pearsons has come a long way in regards to the needs of vegetarians, a
few improvements could be made.