Although TCU offers six different places around campus to grab a bite to eat, some students say vegan options are still limited.
The Student Government Association Dining Services Committee held their first meeting Monday, Sept. 12, and vegan food options around campus was one of their main discussion topics, Graham McMillan, a junior political science and strategic communication double major and Dining Chair of the SGA Dining Services Committee, said.
A vegan TCU student attended the committee meeting and shared her concerns about limited dining options throughout campus for herself and others who are vegans, McMillan said. McMillan agreed that vegan options around campus are limited, but said the dining committee is working hard to incorporate more options to meet those students’ needs.
“It’s a different style of eating,” Effie Bates, a junior movement science major and nutrition minor, said.
Being a vegan limits a person to what they can and cannot eat already, and having limited options around campus makes it that much harder for them, Bates said.
Stephen Miller, general manager of Sodexo, said vegan options are offered every day and Market Square has a designated vegan/vegetarian station available. Vegan options are posted daily to the TCU Dining Services webpage to give students access to what meals will be served that day, Miller said.
Sodexo works closely and collaborates with the SGA Dining Services Committee to talk through different food options, Jonathan Garcia, district manager of Sodexo, said.
Comparing TCU Dining Services with other college campus dining services is something Sodexo and the SGA Dining Services Committee do together to compare themselves with the competition, said Miller.
“There are good options, yes, but if you’re eating there everyday, you’re eventually going to end up just eating the same thing, especially if you’re trying to watch what you’re eating or making a conscious effort to eat healthier, or if you’re vegetarian or vegan,” Bates said.
If the SGA Dining Services Committee can get the increased vegan options passed, it will take anywhere between one and four weeks to take place, McMillan said. The best way students can help out and play a role in dining services is to fill out the comment cards that are available in Market Square and voice their opinions, McMillan said.
“We’ve actually discovered over the last couple of years that the students have become a lot more interested in vegan and vegetarian options and so we’ve tried to respond to that. But in addition to that, we’ve also learned that a lot of students are recognizing allergies that they have towards certain foods or certain products,” Miller said.
Sodexo is also working with TCU to build a second dining hall in the Greek area of campus which is expected sometime within the next two or three years, Garcia and Miller said. They are looking to get as much student input as possible and to include the students in the design and development of the project, Garcia and Miller said.