For most high
school juniors and seniors going off to college is something to
anticipate. However, for someone like myself who is vegan, the college
search is complicated by one concern that many potential students donít
have to worry about Ė will I be able to eat at this school? Talk of
majors and dorm rooms can quickly become secondary to discussions about
the availability of something other than salads on the menu.
So far, my search has taken me on visits to several different schools:
including Berea College, Capital University, Antioch College, Marietta
College, Wittenberg University, and University of Evansville.
Many college cafeterias are fairly vegetarian friendly, but it can still
be complicated if you are vegan as I am. Many recipes (everything from
pizza to burritos) can contain dairy products. But many schools at least
serve veggie burgers and a few basic dishes. Overall, the issue of
eating at college is very similar to trying to eat at a traditional
restaurant -- the selections can be limited. And veggie burgers start to
lose their appeal after about the twentieth meal.
visit to the campus of the University of Evansville, IN had unexpected
results. The campus seemed nice, and the teachers were both enthusiastic
But few vegan options existed in the
cafeteria. So, I left the visit feeling kind of disappointed, thinking
this was probably a good school that I might not be able to attend
because of food issues.
However, in the days that
followed my visit to Evansville things changed. A campus visit
evaluation arrived asking me about my visit to the school. I responded
saying that I liked the school but was worried about whether I would be
able to eat there during a full school year. The university was very
responsive to my situation. After exchanging several emails with dining
services and university administration, the University of Evansville
staff told me that their policy for vegetarian options in the cafeteria
would be changing. They had decided to offer a vegan option and soymilk
at every meal!
I am still undecided about what college I
will attend, and many things will enter into the decision, but for right
now the University of Evansville is back on my list of possibilities.