Vegan in college. - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-04-2009, 12:42 PM
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I'm working through my senior year at high school right now, and in the fall, I'm going to be going to Wright State University. I was just wondering, for those either already away at college or those who went through the experience, how do you deal with the limited food choices on campus? Living in a state where there's a very small demand for veg*n items, I'm anticipating some issues finding food. Considering I also don't drive, and they have sort of a forced meal plan, I'm probably going to be eating on campus almost all of the time. There's a grocery store nearby, as well as plenty of restaurants, but they're money that I likely won't have, and add that to travel constraints, I'm really stuck with what the university has to offer.

I've been struggling lately to keep my motivation to be vegan, and I'm afraid when this switch occurs(or even earlier ), I'll fall back to vegetarianism instead. I understand why I made the decision in the first place, but as time goes by, it gets harder and harder.
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#2 Old 02-04-2009, 12:48 PM
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Veganism is becoming much more common in colleges across the country. You might be surprised at the food choices offered on campus. If not, you can always request that they offer additional items suitable for a vegan diet.



Oh, and good luck in college!
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#3 Old 02-04-2009, 12:51 PM
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I'm a senior in high school as well, I applied to all art schools and most of them seem to be vegan friendly. I'm hoping it won't be too much of a challenge, but I'm interested to hear the responses to this thread.
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#4 Old 02-04-2009, 01:13 PM
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I'm currently in a college that has a decent vegan population, but when I ate and lived on campus I was pretty unhappy. A lot of the selections were repetitive or unhealthy, or unfilling (cold veggies on some bread get old).



I definitely enjoy living off campus now and making my own food.



Even if there is a small selection of food, there are foods you can keep in your room to supplement, especially if you have a small fridge and microwave in your room. (PB&J w/ bread, soup, popcorn, pretzels, chips, soy milk, trail mix, raisins, dried fruit, cereal, etc). If you have a freezer in the mini fridge you can even get boxed veggie burgers and take them out of the box so they take up less space and then just pop in the microwave if dinner choices were lacking that night or something.



If you find yourself completely without choices talk to the nutritionist on campus. You're paying for a meal plan, and they have to accommodate your needs.

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#5 Old 02-04-2009, 02:02 PM
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https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...d.php?t=100344



I made a thread about the same problem ^^^



its really hard to know what to expect itsn't it? And for me, going lacto-veg might be almost unavoidable



Do you have to eat meals there? I go to a boarding school now, where you obviously have to eat. I think If you have no choice, they really have to make you something. At first they were really unhelpful and I lived off potato and salad (they even put butter in the veg, and egg in rice ect.) but after lots of nagging they started cooking me vegan meals. Now there is another vegan girl at school and she nags even more, so we get soya milk and nut butters delivered to the house



Are you on facebook? You could go onto one of the groups related to that college and ask what students think. I did that for mine, but they told me the food was s**t! Im still just as worried as when I made the thread
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#6 Old 02-04-2009, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4sheep View Post

https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...d.php?t=100344



I made a thread about the same problem ^^^



its really hard to know what to expect itsn't it? And for me, going lacto-veg might be almost unavoidable



Do you have to eat meals there? I go to a boarding school now, where you obviously have to eat. I think If you have no choice, they really have to make you something. At first they were really unhelpful and I lived off potato and salad (they even put butter in the veg, and egg in rice ect.) but after lots of nagging they started cooking me vegan meals. Now there is another vegan girl at school and she nags even more, so we get soya milk and nut butters delivered to the house



Are you on facebook? You could go onto one of the groups related to that college and ask what students think. I did that for mine, but they told me the food was s**t! Im still just as worried as when I made the thread



I saw that after I posted. Your situation sounds pretty difficult. Good luck.



They have a meal plan basically forced into your fees. Like, $600 or something like that that you can ONLY spend on food at the university. I mean, I suppose I could just not use it, but I'm really in no position to be wasting money. I can barely afford school as is, without putting unnecessary things into my budget.

Nagging always wins. :P



My boyfriend goes there, and I go up there every week to play D&D, as it's only a thirty minute drive away, but I've only been in the eating area once. And I really didn't see much of what they had to offer. They have a few encouraging things, and I've read that they have veg*n options, but I'm afraid of falling into a situation where I eat the EXACT same thing every day.
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#7 Old 02-04-2009, 02:16 PM
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During my freshman year the freshman dorm started a food petition. Really, it was because a lot of people had confrontations with the staff. But the school listened to it and sent out a survey that was pretty extensive. Now, there are labeled vegan and vegetarian things. It's pretty limited as far as I've seen, but I live off campus now and cook for myself mostly. I eat there for a 2pm lunch a few Tuesdays and Thursdays a month.



So far:

Diner (Commons offshoot, smaller) has added a "vegan-friendly" hummus and roast veggie sandwich that I've eaten twice. It's not very good at all. But it's there.

They had already had a veggie burger though it's not on the menu



Commons (main cafeteria) now calls their salad bar the "vegan" salad bar. They added hummus to it though no pita. They label soups now whether they're vegetarian or not. There's a deli type area for subway type sandwiches. A grill area where they have(duh) grilled stuff. Veggie burgers here.

There's another part that I'm not sure of the name of, they have home-cooked looking things. Pizza, Calzone, pasta station. And an International station that's usually Mexican or Fried rice. You can request rice with no egg. But they usually mix the veggies and meat together.



One time though, my boyfriend was looking around for sosmething to eat there and ended up with Vegetarian Mu Shu lettuce wraps. It was alright. Kind of like vegetarian salisbury steak strips with asian spices in two big iceberg leaves. It was suprising to have yet unremarkable in taste.



So all that change came from the petition. I live in the south though. That southern hospitality thing might have something to do with it.
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#8 Old 02-04-2009, 02:19 PM
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Wright State University in Ohio? If so, I'm like 10 minutes away from there, was just up there last night in the library !
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#9 Old 02-04-2009, 04:05 PM
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psychochick, I am in your exact same situation, except I'm a junior in college. My freshman and sophomore years I was a vegetarian and now I'm vegan and still living on campus with a forced meal plan. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it, and can't wait to get an apartment next year so I can shop at a grocery store.



I'm my dorm room I regularly keep oriental ramen, frozen Amy's burritos, Boca burgers, Instant oatmeal, grits, pretzels, nuts, rice and black beans, PB&J, soymilk and Pure fruit bars.



In the cafeteria the most regular thing I eat is a burrito with rice, black beans, and veggies. It's not bad, but I have it just about every day. I also eat veggie sushi a lot, or a sub with hummus and veggies.



That's pretty much it. The limitations suck, but I became vegan over the summer and was so over eggs and dairy by the beginning of school that going back just isn't an option for me. Honestly, I just deal with it, and remind myself that next year it will be better.



It can be done though, you have to decide how important it is for to be vegan right now, or if you're okay with waiting until you have more options.
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#10 Old 02-04-2009, 05:55 PM
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I spent an exchange year in Canada and had to take a meal plan as I was staying in university residence however they have a very poor vegan options- raw veggies, brown bread and humus every day.



If this kind of thing happens I urge you not to loose hope- stand up and make yourself heard. Talk to everyone and anyone you can think of- catering staff, guidance counsellors, your student representatives, the student paper and anyone else of influence. Find the university veg*n society and if there isnt one create one- you might be surprised how many people show up! Doing all this worked for me and by the end of the year I was getting much better food. I also found everything goes a lot smoother if I made suggestions of all the yummy food I do eat rather than all the foods I dont. Often it is not understanding what we veg*ns can eat that leads to these situations and then if youre the one making suggestions you can get them to make all your favourites. 



Good luck and I hope it goes well for you.
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#11 Old 02-04-2009, 08:47 PM
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I am a senior in high school too, but I have just lucked out. I am going to Bradley and I was talking about college decisions with some adults from church. Apparently one of the members has a daughter who goes to Bradley now and is a vegan. There is a chef in one of the food courts that makes vegan meals for certain individuals. He makes things for people with severe food allergies, too. I was soooo happy when I found that out. I would suggest seeing if they is a chef like that at Wright State.
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#12 Old 02-04-2009, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m4rk0 View Post

Veganism is becoming much more common in colleges across the country. You might be surprised at the food choices offered on campus. If not, you can always request that they offer additional items suitable for a vegan diet.



Oh, and good luck in college!



exactly and good luck
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#13 Old 02-05-2009, 11:24 AM
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Whenever I post on here, it's like I get a shot of hope. You guys are awesome.
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#14 Old 02-05-2009, 11:52 AM
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I know this might be limited to small school atmosphere, but there's usually an office of institutional diversity or something of that nature. If you talk to the head (dean) of that department, things can get done fairly quickly. Just make sure to point out that a meat-centered dining experience can be extremely off-putting to students from many different cultures and religious backgrounds. Offering good quality vegan food goes a long way towards appearing accepting of vegans, vegetarians, Buddhists, Jains, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, lactose intolerant students (point out that they're being very biased towards caucasians if they don't take lactose intolerance into account), people with milk/egg allergies (pretty common), and others with eating restrictions. A lot of the vegetarians I knew in college were simply very religious Muslims or Jews who wanted an extra safety net to make sure they followed their particular eating rules.



Anyhow, NO college wants to be thought of as unwelcoming to minority students. Getting a dean involved can light a fire under the dining hall manager.
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#15 Old 02-05-2009, 11:53 AM
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My college has quite a few vegan options, so I guess I'm lucky. In the main cafeterian there's a salad bar and sandwich station, which is pretty standard. There's a stir-fry station, a pasta station and some pre-made meals (curry, sushi and vegan wraps) that I can pick up. In the residence "store" where people buy their staples, there are vegan frozen dinners. I've found soymilk, but no rice milk.



I don't live on campus, but I spend way too much time there. I imagine that eating what I just mentioned would get boring after a bit, but that's why I would supplement with other stuffs.
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#16 Old 02-05-2009, 12:33 PM
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I was at a university with a forced meal plan, forced 2 year dorm policy with no kitchen and a ban on microwaves. We had a slaughter house and meat lab on campus so it is safe to say there were VERY few of us vegetarians there. I didn't say anything for the first year..I just ate a lot of salad, potatoes and dry pantry foods. They acually called me "potato lady" every time I got in line. When I finally said something I was made promises that weren't delivered. Finally I called to speak to the food services director and they accidently transferred me to the University President. He was so nice and listened to my entire complaint before I figured out who I was speaking to. He personally spoke with the food services people and met a friend and myself for lunch in the cafeteria to be sure we were satisfied.



Anyway..What I am trying to say is, just be sure to let them know your needs. If you HAVE to pay for a meal plan, then you should be able to eat in the cafeteria. If you are ignored just be persistent. It sometimes just depends on who you talk to. There were 2 head chefs at my school, one was VERY willing to help and the other often tried to trick me in to eating meat. You just have to figure out who is most likely to work with you and not make a big deal out of it. I was always very understanding when they messed up which resulted in them being much more willing to go out of their way for me.
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