Pearsons perspectives for the concerned vegetarian

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

these changes?


“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.

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