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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
UGH. The cafe at school has really been frustrating this year...

So, I became a vegan towards the middle of last semester and it was a hard transition. However, it seems to me that they have even less vegan options this year.

Sure, they have a fruit/salad bar, but there's only so much of that I can take.

I basically have peanut butter and jelly EVERY DAY for lunch and dinner. Even with the bread and bagel selections, there's only like three types I can choose from.

Earlier in the year, they made a really nice tofu dish and I complimented them...their promise was, "we're going to have a lot more vegetarian and vegan options this year".

That's been totally false. There's a section of the cafe where hot meals are cooked and of course, there's the side for all the burgers, fries and junk.

NOT ONE THING has been vegan in that entire section for about two weeks now and I've just about had it.

I believe it's not only the fact that they rarely cook vegan meals, but that the labeling system is flawed. They have a menu that denotes if something is vegetarian, vegan or something else. lol

basically, they label a lot of things as vegetarian, but they almost never use the vegan symbol. I'm sick of asking the people who work there if something is vegan, because half of the time they don't know and I feel that sometimes they give me the wrong info. (something assumed to be vegan because it has tofu or assumed to be vegan because it's a vegetable...how about corn laying in a pile of butter? that is NOT vegan!!!)

They also promised to do a better job about labeling the foods...

They have this comment section on a bulletin board and I've made close to 10 comments this year...they usually respond with something nice and encouraging, but much of it has just been false info.

Last year seemed better, even if it wasn't great. At least they served more tofu dishes, had plain pasta at least a few times a week, etc.

*sigh*

So, after going into the cafe last night and seeing a non-vegan tofu dish, I just had it. I left a comment pleading with them to let me know how I can contact a supervisor/manager and discuss some important concerns I have.

I hope they respond soon and maybe, just maybe, things will get worked out a little bit better for me.

I go to a college of about 5,000 students and you'd think they'd have just a little bit more in the way of selection...
 

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If you live on campus, the admin probably requires you to purchase some sort of meal plan, whether the caf has food you eat or not. Schools vary on how much cooking you can do in the dorms, so you may have to suffice with a hotpot, the lounge's broken microwave, your iron (for toasting bread), and a mini fridge.

Hmm... your profile says you live in Conneticut. If you don't have a hotpot and want one, I have one I've never used. (I live in an apartment and cook things over the stove.) The hotpot will cook rice, steam veggies, and make other foods, too, from what I'm told. College students in dorms often find them handy and are approved by the dorm admin.

If you want to PM me your address, I'd be happy to mail it to you.

Also, if you decide to cook all your own food and never go back to the caf, see if you can get a refund on part of your meal plan. Groceries are not cheap (unless you eat mac & cheese every day), so the money would come in handy. Politely explain your situation to the dean of students or whoever handles this, explain how hard you've tried to work out your situation with the caf, and it hasn't worked. They'll be more sympathetic to someone who's given a sincere effort than someone who ate something they didn't like one day and got mad.
 

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Yeah, I hear ya. Things were looking pretty grim for me when I was away at shcool, too. And I went to a school in lower east side Manhattan, with many more than 5k students, and there STILL wasn't much to eat.

Like you, I just reached my limit at one point and decided to suck it up and rent a micro-fridge for $50 (that was pretty much the only food-related appliance you could have in the dorms... no hotplates, coffee makers, electric skillets/grills, etc...). There was a really, really cool grocery store within walking distance of my building called Jubilee that was sort of a cross between a Whole Foods and a convetional grocery... but waaay better than Wegman's. So that worked out pretty well, the only downfall being the fact that my school had a mandatory meal plan (bloodsuckers) for freshmen where you paid a non-refundable $1000 and you had a sort of debit card that you used every time you went to the cafeteria. What really sucked was that, unlike a lot of other schools where you can find different cafes and delis off campus that will accept your school's meal plan card, you could only use this one at the school's cafes. Needless to say, that was a huuuuge waste of money for me and my parents.

But yeah, look into getting a micro-fridge and hotpot like SL suggested. Good luck!
 

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Uhh... Considering I'm leaving for college in less than 3 years, this is very discouraging. I guess the food selection will be a big deciding factor for me, now.

And good luck! Keep perservering, they have to give in some time! (lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey, thanks for the replies guys.

I think I'm kinda forced into the meal plan...I know that freshman HAVE to have it and since I'm on the "midtown" campus, I believe I'm kinda stuck into it.

however, I do have a fridge and I eat in my room occasionally. (almost daily for brekafast)

I'll just wait and see how the meeting goes...I might be getting a part-time job (besides work study) soon too, so maybe if that does work out, I will eat in here a lot more often anyway.

as for the hotplate, thanks for the offer, but I shouldnt' need it. We have two microwaves and stoves on each floor and they're almost always open/free to use.
 

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If you're stuck buying the meal plan I would just use the meal plan to stock up on the vegan items they do carry (ie fresh fruits, veggies, etc). You can just keep them in your room and then you don't have to buy those things yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the way the meal plan works, I get two meals per day in the cafe and $125 per semester in the snack bar.

sometimes I do stock up on a few things from the snack bar, but even there they don't have many options.


It's kinda funny though...they made vegan tacos on Friday and that was SOOO unusual...I had a vegan mock-chicken tofu dish for lunch that was really good today as well.

unfortunately, the choices seem to come in waves. some weeks they might have a few good vegan meals, but other weeks there's practically nothing.

I'm in the process of trying to get through to one of the managers via email...it worked last semester (even though we never got to schedule a meeting), so I'll wait it out a few more days.

I did bring home some great vegan food from NYC (went there yesterday), so I'm set for at least a while.

I do like to stock up on fruit from the cafe, but the only fruit they really have is bananas, apples and sometimes pears. I have a few pears in my fridge, the bananas are usually ripe or overripe from the cafe anyway and I went apple picking Saturday!!! I have like two weeks worth of them. hehe
 

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Both colleges I went to had no vegetarian / vegan dishes at all
Of course I was an omni at the time so it didn't bother me but looking back, it really sucks for those with other diets
It's not too hard to fix a few vegan entrees as I'm sure it's a LOT cheaper than the other dishes and there are probably only a few people who will want them. It would be awesome too if someone walked by and instead of the hamburger, chose a vegan dish. Isn't that what college is about? Exploring who you are and trying new things?

To add to your rant I'd like to put out a mini rant about the local whole foods store >_< I've asked her to please stock some more vegan cheeses (specifically parmesan cheese) and what do I find today? A few different cheeses and also the parmesan... But all with milk in them! I asked her if she knew what vegan was and she gave me a sarcastic look like "I run this store and you're questioning this?" At least I finally got her to carry Tofutti so I can have something on my sandwiches. *sigh* Then I was looking through her lip balm (I haven't had time to order any online yet) and asked her why she didn't carry any without beeswax. She said "What's wrong with beeswax? It's better for you than petroleum jelly" So I just kinda shrugged it off but she kept pushing so I said it was just like eating honey. So she argued with me about it and even pulled out one of the lip balms that says "No animal products" but clear enough it says Organic Beeswax.

This lady OWNS a whole goods store and she has no idea what being a vegan is about. I am really losing the bit of hope I have for humanity >_< But then I remember I'm in a small redneck town that's only benefit is it's closeness to Baton Rouge & New Orleans and hopefully one day I'll be able to move away from all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
things are getting a little better, but tomorrow is the big day...

They've finally upgraded the menu system here and it's great! They list most of the ingredients for most of the dishes, but always point out the biggies like meat, milk, eggs, soy, etc.

They've had more vegan meals lately, but it's only been a week...we'll see how it continues to go.

tomorrow, the lady from food services scheduled in time to discuss things with me over the phone. I'm going to tell her that my initial intent was to discuss my concerns about getting vegan foods and the menu, but it seems like they're improving. I'm defintely going to thank her/them for upgrading the whole system...it's interesting, because rice listed as having milk in it today, but somedays it's just plain. (proof that it's not safe to make assumptions here...)

Anyway, any advice or suggestions for things I should bring up? I'm going to let her know that I'm vegan and maybe I'll see if she has any tips for me as well. perhaps there can be some special things set up, like maybe if there's no vegan foods on the menu, I can have something special made upon request. who knows!
 

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You paid for your meal plan, and with that many students they should be used to dealing with special dietary requirements. Find out who the supervisor is, and ask them to feed you or give you the rest of your money back.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lani View Post

This lady OWNS a whole goods store and she has no idea what being a vegan is about. I am really losing the bit of hope I have for humanity >_< But then I remember I'm in a small redneck town that's only benefit is it's closeness to Baton Rouge & New Orleans and hopefully one day I'll be able to move away from all of this.
Where are you from? I used to live in Alexandria so i know what you are deeling with. BR and NO were the only places I could get anything decent--but who can drive 2-4 hours for stuff?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spidergrrl View Post

Where are you from? I used to live in Alexandria so i know what you are deeling with. BR and NO were the only places I could get anything decent--but who can drive 2-4 hours for stuff?
I currently live in Hammond. Sucks so bad
If you're not a conservative christian republican you are an outcast.
 

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Yup, Lani I know it all too well. My friends had a swastika painted on their door because they were very quietly Pagan. When reported to teh police they were told "well if you went to church then this sort of thing wouldn't happen to you." We got the hell out 3 years ago.

To the OP: I am sorry for your distress. I hope your menu gets sorted out and there can be food to nourish you as you study.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the menu has been getting better and they've had more vegan options...I've seen more vegan options in the past week, then I did for pretty much most of October, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
they had vegan ravioli for the first time EVER last night! wow, maybe things are changing for the better...

 
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